Antivirus on Android is nearly Useless

There are many antivirus solutions on Android. Unfortunately, most are useless in preventing and remedying the serious security issues on the platform.

Given the large number of antivirus applications arisen on Android in recent years in Google Play, it is almost impossible not to have thought if you and I need one. I was asked many times how useful are such applications if miracles in serious fixing vulnerabilities occur every few weeks on the Google platform. In addition, many are curious if the same third-party software tools they shun issues that come bundled with malicious software that you find in various online shops different from that of Google. The simple answer to all these questions is no, but the problem is significantly more complicated than that. Ideally, security updates released by Google to reach a much shorter time at all terminals with Android, but this probably will not happen again. Ultimately, though very serious vulnerabilities as Stagefright affects the bulk of smartphones and tablets with Android, platform fragmentation takes a serious problem.

How does an antivirus on Windows and does not work on Android?

To get a clearer picture of an antivirus functionality or limitations on Android, you must have considered several features related to these applications in general. In Windows, antivirus is anchored in the fundamental operating system level to provide real-time protection system. Thus, before any file is accessed, whether a picture or a program downloaded from the internet is passed through the antivirus scanning module. If an infection is found, the antivirus is allowed to act according to the gravity of the situation discovered. In this way, you can remove, disinfect or quarantines a dangerous file.

A virus on Android is significantly more limited than on Windows. For applications platform that Google operates in a sandbox that limits their influence operation of other programs, even if you have malware on your phone, an antivirus can not stop it. Moreover, if a malicious application exploited a serious security vulnerability to gain root privileges, at that time the malware has more permissions than you probably paid antivirus money. Even that installing an antivirus experiencing a permissions screen, just like any other application, should make you realize that there is nothing more special than Skype or WhatsApp.

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What can a virus on Android to justify their presence?

Passing over a painful limitation of Android antivirus detailed above, there are a few things you can do. You can access a list of all the applications you have installed and can compare each name there name on a list of known malware which is constantly updated. Both. Actual applications, the entire file system of your gadget is not scanned and processes running in the background are immune to any virus. If your terminal has been previously compromised, no matter how much you have invested in a virus, that is useless from this point of view.

An Android antivirus can scan a mobile external memory, microSD site and the user accessible internal memory hoping to detect malicious files. This will happen but only if you’ve made it a habit to download and store APK file-based installation on third virtual stores. This will be identified as dangerous. The operating system and the installed applications are stored can not be scanned in any form, as indeed would happen on Windows.

The same security applications on Android can instead monitor your network traffic. Can I prevent access to malicious web pages download programs and potentially risky. If it was not obvious from the description, such actions will consume battery significantly faster, and if you care what websites come in, how should actually do on the PC, the benefit does not justify the consequences. It is possible to excite a virus on Android that helps you locate your phone, but so can Google Device Manager natively without any third-party application.

By the way, you already have an antivirus on Google Android

Without being too obvious or intrusive on your smartphone or tablet with Android, there is a protection system against malicious software. If you only download apps from Google Play, that are scanned for malware continuously by the Mountain View giant. If Google finds a program with a suspicious or malicious behavior, automatically removes it from its virtual store and you can delete it from your device without any intervention on your part.

The problems start when you enable the setting installing applications from unknown sources – Unknown Sources. Through the transaction, win the ability to install different applications that you find online. Even those circumstances, however, the smartphone will ask you if you agree that Google may scan before installing. If you opt for this feature, even trying to install an application from a Chinese application store, the Android software will alert you. To activate this option later, click the Settings of Google Apps applications and Verify check. Since that time, your device is scanned continuously security vulnerabilities, as well as installed applications, regardless of source.


These security features are part of Google Play Services and unlike a virus from Google Play, can operate with significantly more permissions, even at the system level. In addition Google antivirus is updated automatically to protect you serious security holes, without the need to update the entire operating system.

Regarding scanning Internet traffic and the dangers hidden in web pages you visit, as long as you are using Google Chrome on Android, you have nothing to worry about. For some time, the Android version of the popular browser Google Safe Browsing includes a feature first introduced in Chrome for desktops. Thanks to her, you will be warned if you click on a website that offers terminal security in danger or expose you to malicious. It also prevents you from where you want to install malware on various different websites.

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Do not install an antivirus on Android!

It may sound aggressive, but the price you pay for antivirus on Android or handicap performance and autonomy with which it comes bundled not justified. Under no circumstances is not sufficient protection included the Google operating system level and that is not the point of this material. The ideal would be to have part of regular updates of the operating system. When a new vulnerability is discovered that affects 900 million Android devices, be the first to enjoy the security updates that Google is rushing to launch it.

A virus on Android does not provide an additional level of security, at least not now. If at some point the Google platform for mobile will offer special circumstances opposite the rights of a virus, the situation will be different. I believe that this phenomenon will not occur again, because a new series of malicious programs would be abused. The only real benefit of such a virus today is more psychological comfort. It helps to live under the impression that your terminal and the data stored on it are safe. Besides the extra battery consumption, they will not do any harm, do not do well enough Schema.

How do we protect Android?

Now that I’ve explained the usefulness of an antivirus program on Android, to see what is the solution. Ideally, you should avoid downloading applications from Google Play are not. This process is called sideloading. Most of the applications that can affect the performance of your Google are not in store but in one of the other N virtual stores, most of them Chinese. The only exception is the Amazon Appstore, which includes some major deals. Downloading pirated games and applications, while it is very easy on Android, is also likely to be reflected in unintended consequences.

Ideal would be to use a device receiving regular security updates directly from Google. Nexus terminals perfectly fits into this category. No they are not perfect, but if you have a fascination for the Android platform, it would be better to target one of them. Otherwise, be prepared to wait for software updates from producers or to get used to change your phone more often, hoping that the new model will come pre-installed with the latest version of Android.

Finally, because most of us are or were users of Windows can not give up the idea of ​​antivirus, especially when the Google Play see security solutions from the same companies that they already know. Try to resist the temptation, however, because the behavior of a virus on Android is far from that of an antivirus on Windows.

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