If you are using an antivirus on Android
Our smartphones and computers regularly face constant threats and malicious attempts. Most of them are cleverly designed to steal our information and personal data if you’re not careful. And yes, it can be a worrying scenario. So that brings us to an important question. Should you install an antivirus app on your phone to protect your smartphone from malicious intent?
And even if you need to get an antivirus, do they work as advertised? But before we start, we need to understand exactly how a virus behaves on your Android phone and how it differs from malware.
What is a virus and how is it different from malware
Computer viruses have been in the news for several decades. As you may already know, they work by replicating themselves and attaching themselves to a particular program. They enter through compromised software, harmless e-mail, or executing “cracks” for illegitimate applications.
When it comes to Android phones, viruses don’t replicate like they do on PCs. But that’s where the good news ends. Malicious activity on Android phones and tablets isn’t limited to program replication. Instead, malware comes in many forms and is designed to track your activities, steal your information, and possibly your money.
In layman’s terms, malware is malicious code and it comes in many different forms. Often the terms Malware and Virus are used interchangeably, when in fact a virus is just one type of malware. For example, if you are not too careful about the apps you install or the attachments you download, you may be stuck on your cell phone.
For example, it was reported that a certain Covid 19 tracking app was going malicious, as recently as 2020. It users blocked off their phones by forcing a password change and forcing its user to pay around 100 Bitcoins to regain access.
Another the classic malware attack was HummingBad, and it hit around 10 million Android handsets in 2016.
Then there are the malicious apps that siphon off your information after getting installed on your phone.
So malware attacks are very real. But can antivirus apps help you? Well, let’s find out.
If you are using an antivirus on your Android phone
There are two ways to go about it. If you are not sure what apps you download or which links you click, you can get antivirus app to prevent such suspicious activity to some extent.
But then again, note that these antivirus apps, like all other apps, will be hogging your phone’s resources and battery. Looking back, we would say this is a better compromise.
However, not all antivirus applications do the advertised job. In 2019, a survey conducted by AV-Comparatives found that some of the Antivirus apps didn’t even scan the phone for malware.
These apps just displayed a progress bar to replicate the scan and that was about it. At the same time, the majority of antiviruses were ineffective against malware in Android phones.
Therefore, when you go for an antivirus, the best thing to do would be to go for the ones that are already popular. Bitdefender Mobile Security is one example.
It costs around $ 15 a year and brings home a wide range of features. At the same time, the app should also cover your other devices.
Steps to Protect Your Phone and Data
Getting your hands on an effective antivirus application isn’t the end of the road. Also, be careful when downloading applications to your phone or visiting certain sites.
The first step is to download apps only from the Google Play Store and avoid installing third party stores or questionable APK sites. The Play Store regularly scans its applications for harmful applications and removes the suspects. If you follow tech news, you must have seen the news about removing apps from the Play Store for stealing user information and in some cases money.
However, this is not 100% foolproof, and sometimes some of these apps can still stay in the store to be found later. One of these examples is InstaAgent, which succeeded in steal Instagram usernames and passwords. Another example is the Joker malware which has been found in over 20 apps on the Google Play Store.
One way to stay a little more secure is to regularly update your Android phone with the latest security patch. These security patches address potential vulnerabilities and provide a fix or fix.
But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to stay proactive to protect your data and information and avoid losing money in the long run. Here are some ways to stay safe
- Avoid downloading apps from third party app stores.
- Examine the Android app permissions over time. We often give authorizations without batting an eyelid and this can be detrimental in the long run.
- Avoid clicking on links in emails and messages. Yes, both phishing and smishing are real.
- Keep an eye out for security fixes. If there is one pending for a long time, feel free to click on the Update button.
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The bottom line is that yes, you can get antivirus for your Android smartphone. They not only protect you from viruses per se, but also from general malware attacks to some extent.
In the worst-case scenario, if you find that your phone has acted a little odd (the battery drains sooner than you expect, warms up, or opens random webpages), a factory reset should do the trick. .
Last updated on June 26, 2021
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