For Android, is an anti-virus application really necessary?

You might be surprised to learn that Android is the most popular operating system on the planet — even more so than Windows. This is also what makes it a familiar target of various malicious activities. The question is do you really need an anti-malware (virus) app on your Android device?

This is really a matter of discussion. Antivirus software has been recommended for Windows users for many years. But what about Android?

Android itself is a pretty secure operating system. It may sound “strange” but this statement has received more and more approval in the past few years. All Android phones have a bootloader lock (the program that boots the system and the operating system) to prevent access to the system partition. By default, the sideload option of unapproved apps is disabled.

holder For Android, is an anti-virus application really necessary?

The two options above (unlocking bootloader and sideloading apps) are the most common ways for Android devices to get infected with malware, and both are blocked by default. In fact, most Android malware problems lie in these two ways because specific default security features are disabled. That’s what makes Android different from other competitors. You are free to do what you want with your phone.

Google even made sideloading more secure with Android Oreo. Instead of this feature being a generic setting like before, which simply allows or disallows apps to be installed from outside the Play Store, it works on an app-by-app basis. That means it’s possible to allow apps to be installed from a source other than the Play Store like the Amazon Appstore. Here’s a clever way to handle this setting.

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Simply put, if you don’t intend to unlock the bootloader (not even possible on many phones) or sideload apps, you’re well protected by the system.

Android’s largest built-in anti-malware protection system is Google Play Protect. This tool can scan all apps in the Play Store and also on the user’s device. This is considered a program to protect devices from malware anytime, anywhere.

Every Android device that owns the Google Play Store has Play Protect. You may notice a “No Harmful Apps Found” message at the top of the app and game management section in the Play Store. Play Protect makes sure the apps you download from the Google Play Store are always safe to use.

holder For Android, is an anti-virus application really necessary?

However, Play Protect does not only work within the Play Store. It also keeps an eye on apps that have been downloaded from outside, unofficially.

In addition to application scanning, Play Protect can also protect you when browsing the web using Google Chrome. Similar to Chrome for desktop, if you visit a website with malicious code, Chrome will issue a warning and return you to a safe state.

Another important thing to mention in Google’s Android device protection mechanism is its policy of releasing monthly security updates. These are small updates, often not accompanied by new features, but instead are modifications that improve the stability and security of the operating system.

New vulnerabilities and attacks appear every day. If your Android phone is updated only once a year, the threats will gradually pile up and become dangerous. That’s why monthly security updates are essential.

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holder For Android, is an anti-virus application really necessary?

Sadly not all Android devices receive these periodic updates in a timely or complete manner. Google releases monthly security updates, and authorizes its partners (Samsung, OnePlus, etc.) to approve, add their own fixes, and release them to users.

If you want the most secure, and most up-to-date Android phone, choose a Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy device. Both Google and Samsung are appreciated for their policy of keeping devices up to date with the latest patches.

holder For Android, is an anti-virus application really necessary?

Many anti-virus companies have taken advantage of the “virus crash” to release malware scanning apps on the platform. Of course you can install an antivirus app for Android if you want. However, it really doesn’t find anything that Google doesn’t know about and is more protective than Play Protect.

Of course, most antivirus apps on Android also do other things like block spam phone calls, protect your phone from theft, and offer many more features. Those are additional benefits, but these features have gradually been built into Android.

To be clear, you can use an anti-virus application if this makes you feel better, but if you still download the application from an unknown source, allow third-party applications to use resources, perform what the operating system does, this makes no sense. Therefore, you just need to pay a little attention to the applications installed from Google Play, everything is safe.

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