On various network resources, you can read that viruses, trojans, and more often - malicious software sending paid sms are becoming an increasingly common problem for users of Android phones and tablets. Also, going to the Google Play app store, you will find that various antiviruses for android are one of the most popular programs in the market.
However, reports and studies of a number of anti-virus software companies indicate that, provided that some recommendations are followed, the user is adequately protected from problems with viruses on this platform.
Android OS independently checks the phone or tablet for malware
The Android operating system has built-in antivirus functions in and of itself. Before deciding which antivirus to install, you should look at what your phone or tablet can already do without it:
- Applications on Google Play are scanned for viruses : when publishing applications in the Google store, they are automatically scanned for malicious code using the Bouncer service. After the developer uploads his program to Google Play, Bouncer checks the code for known viruses, trojans, and other malware. Each application runs in the simulator to check if it is behaving in a harmful way on a particular device. The behavior of the application is compared with known virus programs and, if there is a similar behavior, is marked accordingly.
- Google Play can delete applications remotely : if you installed an application that later turned out to be malicious, Google can remove it from your phone remotely.
- Android 4.2 checks third-party applications : as mentioned above, applications on Google Play are scanned for viruses, but this cannot be said about third-party software from other sources. When you first install a third-party application on Android 4.2, you will be asked if you want to check all third-party applications for malicious code, which will help protect your device and wallet.
- Android 4.2 blocks the sending of paid SMS messages : the operating system does not allow the sending of SMS messages to short numbers, which is often used in various trojans, when you try to send such an SMS message, you will be notified about this.
- Android restricts access and operation of applications : the permission system implemented in android allows you to limit the creation and distribution of trojans, spyware and similar applications. Android applications can not work in the background, recording your every click on the screen or the entered character. In addition, during installation, you can see all the permissions that the program requires.
Where do the viruses for Android come from?
Prior to Android 4.2, the operating system itself did not have anti-virus functions; all of them were implemented on the side of Google Play. Thus, those who downloaded applications from there were relatively protected, and those who downloaded programs and games for android from other sources put themselves at greater risk.
A recent study by McAfee antivirus company reports that more than 60% of malware for Android is FakeInstaller code, which is a malicious program disguised as the right application. As a rule, you can download such a program on various sites that pretend to be official or unofficial with a free download. After installation, these applications secretly send you paid SMS messages from your phone.
In Android 4.2, the built-in virus protection function will most likely allow you to catch an attempt to install FakeInstaller, and even if not, you will receive a notification that the program is trying to send SMS.
As already mentioned, on all versions of the android you are relatively protected from viruses provided that you install applications from the official Google Play store. A study by the antivirus company F-Secure shows that the amount of malware installed on phones and tablets with Google Play is 0.5% of the total.
So do you need an antivirus on android?
Antivirus for Android on Google Play
As analysis shows, most viruses come from various sources, where users try to download a paid application or game for free. If you use only Google Play to download applications, you are relatively protected from trojans and viruses. In addition, your own care can help you: for example, do not install games that require the ability to send SMS messages.
However, if you often download applications from third-party sources, then you may need an antivirus, especially if you are using an older version of the operating system than Android 4.2. However, even with an antivirus, be prepared for the fact that by downloading the pirated version of the game for Android you will download something different from what you expected.
If you decide to download an antivirus for Android, avast mobile security is a pretty good solution and is completely free.
What else can antiviruses do for Android OS?
It should be noted that anti-virus solutions for android not only catch malicious code in applications and prevent the sending of paid SMS, but may also have a number of other useful functions that are not in the operating system itself:
- Phone search in case it was stolen or lost
- Phone Security and Usage Reports
- Firewall features
Thus, if you require any of these functions on your phone or tablet, using Android anti-virus software may be warranted.