Is it necessary to install an antivirus?

Discussion in 'Android' started by Sefie, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. Sefie

    Sefie

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    It seems there are so many opinions regarding to this: is it really necessary to install an antivirus on your android device? Someone recently told me it wasn't really necessary, so since I have a phone with a really reduced storage capacity I decided to delete it. I haven't had any issues so far, but then again, I don't use my mobile for browsing the internet that much.

    I had installed the AVG antivirus for mobile last year, it's been 2 months since I removed it. I honestly don't think I'll be installing it again. If I had space to spare I'd probably do it though, just to be safe.

    What about you? is your mobile protected with an antivirus? if yes, which one?
     
    Sefie, Sep 12, 2015
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  2. Sefie

    Lun

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    I don't think it's necessary to be honest, but I'm like you, I don't use it for internet that often and I don't download anything outside the Google Play store. However it's still necessary for those who download a lot from the internet. Some antirvirus software even help in blocking annoying ads in the notification bar when you don't even know where they're coming from. I downloaded Avast on my android a while back, my device got much much slower and the battery started draining much quicker because of its active scanning in the background sometimes, so I just deleted it. However if you have a powerful or a flagship device then I'd say it's much safer to have one installed. Android malware is not as uncommon as you might think.
     
    Lun, Sep 12, 2015
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  3. Sefie

    something back

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    If the computer is "never connected to the internet, and you never share software or programs"
    then no.

    In l ALL OTHER CASES YES
     
    something back, Sep 12, 2015
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  4. Sefie

    IcyBC

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    I used to have a Samsung Exhibit phone and never did install any antivirus software on it. I used it for years without any problem since like you, I don't download anything and barely used the internet other than occasionally checked email. I think you're ok without one!
     
    IcyBC, Sep 12, 2015
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  5. Sefie

    Sefie

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    @IcyBC Hearing that makes me feel so much better :) I really don't have the space for that in my phone, I've more important things that need to be stored in there. I feel so good knowing I am not the only one without an antivirus on their phone.
     
    Sefie, Sep 13, 2015
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  6. Sefie

    Sefie

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    @Lun Thanks, Lun. I also noticed my device was running slower with that antivirus, but that wasn't the reason I removed it... the reason was because I truly needed the space. Plus I was told isn't really necessary to have an antivirus installed on your phone. I sometimes visit web sites, but only when is truly necessary. Most of the times I only play games, check my mail, etc. I might upgrade in 2 years, so yes, I will get an antivirus... just in case.
     
    Sefie, Sep 13, 2015
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  7. Sefie

    Sefie

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    @something back So, I guess what you are trying to say is that is better to be safe than sorry, and that I should have an antivirus installed on my phone? Sadly I have very little space left in that phone, I plan to upgrade in 2 years... a phone with more space, but for now I don't seem to have much of a choice :(
     
    Sefie, Sep 13, 2015
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  8. Sefie

    sparkster

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    Yes, you absolutely should have an antivirus installed on your Android device. Even more so than on a PC. Android is a lot easier for malicious software to target because many smartphones are set with their background data and GPS switched on by default. This allows what seems like a genuine app to be able to download and install another more malicious app in the background without you even knowing that it's happening. Apps also need certain permissions and therefore you could be granting them access to your contact's phone numbers, letting them send and receive text messages, etc. Android smartphones are a lot more prone to being exploited than computers are.
     
    sparkster, Sep 13, 2015
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  9. Sefie

    Sefie

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    @sparkster Really? Uhm, you have given me something to think about. I had already switched GPS off a while ago, but I sometimes connect to the public wifi from my local health center (I don't think so much about it when I do, because my phone connects automatically). Maybe I should turn wifi off for now? I just don't have that much space :( But I'll see if I can get rid of some files in order to make some space for the antivirus, I actually prefer having an antivirus installed, makes me feel safer.
     
    Sefie, Sep 17, 2015
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  10. Sefie

    nytegeek

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    The majority of Android malware comes from outside the Google play store. Unless you root your phone and or regularly side load apps you probably are not at risk. Android has several built-in security features:
    1. Permissions and sand-boxing systems limit the abilities of any malware. Apps aren't able to access protected data, and need to declare the permissions they require at installation.
    2. A service named Bouncer automatically scans apps on the Google Play Store for malware as soon as they are uploaded.
    3. If an app that is found to be malicious, Google can remotely remove the app from your phone when it’s removed from Google Play.
    4. Android 4.2 and higher can scan side-loaded apps.
    5. Android 4.2 and higher will prevent apps from sending SMS messages in the background. It also alerts you when an app tries to.

    @sparkster The actual available data on existing threats for a desktop or laptop PC running Microsoft Windows vs. an Android devices does not support your statements. Yes, there is an alarming amount of malware for Android in the wild, but it is a fraction of what is out there for the PC and it is more difficult for it to take hold on Android than it is on a PC. Any connected device is at risk for exploit, but any non-rooted Unix/Linux derivative will give malware more of an uphill battle than Windows on a PC by design. Most mobile and PC operating systems with the exception of Windows are Unix derived in some way. This includes OS X, Android, iOS, any BSD, and any Linux. Unless you "root" your device and effectively break the sand-boxing of the system by doing so, these systems are already inherently more secure against malware than Windows on the PC.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
    nytegeek, Sep 18, 2015
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  11. Sefie

    Sefie

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    @nytegeek Thanks a lot for clarifying that :) I got a bit worried at first, I always thought I'd only have to worry if I had something like blackmarket installed, but I don't. It's good to get the plain facts and nothing else, I knew you'd be a great addition to our community :) Not going to bother with an antivirus for now.
     
    Sefie, Sep 20, 2015
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  12. Sefie

    Sefie

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    @nytegeek Thanks a lot for clarifying that :) I got a bit worried at first, I always thought I'd only have to worry if I had something like blackmarket installed, but I don't. It's good to get the plain facts and nothing else, I knew you'd be a great addition to our community :) Not going to bother with an antivirus for now.
     
    Sefie, Sep 20, 2015
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  13. Sefie

    sparkster

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    I have to disagree. I worked in IT security for many years and more recently have got into Android development. Google's security protection for Android is absolutely abysmal and cannot be relied upon. Yes, there is a lot more malware out for PC but that's just stating the obvious considering how much longer Windows PC's have been around compared to Android which is a lot newer. It's also technically not true that most Android malware comes from outside of the Google Play marketplace. Google Play has very little restriction on what developers can upload and openly allows malicious software to be uploaded without question whereas other Android markets (like SlideMe for example) are a lot more security-conscious. Google Play is absolutely rife for malicious software. Many of the apps on Google Play, once downloaded and installed, will then download malicious software from a different location (not Google Play) if the background data is switched on, even though the original legitimate-seeming app was originally downloaded from Google Play. Whether or not a device has been rooted doesn't even come into it, it can still be exploited in the same way.
     
    sparkster, Sep 20, 2015
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  14. Sefie

    nytegeek

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    Glad I could help. I may as well put my education and experience with technology to use. There is a lot of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) out there and I hope to clear it up whenever possible.
     
    nytegeek, Sep 20, 2015
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  15. Sefie

    Sefie

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    I agree with you, and highly appreciate you are trying to do that. It's a never ending task, but it's great you are trying to do this whenever is possible =D
     
    Sefie, Sep 21, 2015
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  16. Sefie

    Sefie

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    Well guys, I did it. I freed some space from my mobile and installed and anti virus, and also Malwarebytes for mobile. I am testing it. I might get rid of the antivirus and keep malwarebytes. It was hard, but I managed to free 535 MB space by making some tough decisions and a lot thinking! Feeling safer already ;) Better safe than sorry, they say!
     
    Sefie, Sep 28, 2015
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  17. Sefie

    vinaya

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    If you browse internet on your phone, you should definitely use antivirus. I did not have antivirus on my old phone because there was less storage.As the handset became older, it encountered many problems. I have antivirus on my current phone,I have been using it for six months and I never have had problems.
     
    vinaya, Feb 1, 2016
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  18. Sefie

    nytegeek

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    No you shouldn't. It is a waste of space and system resources. Malware generally doesn't target phones and what little there is won't be infecting your phone via a browser.
     
    nytegeek, Feb 2, 2016
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  19. Sefie

    Andorphin

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    From my personal knowledge and experience, it's good to install it. However, some users may be more affected than others. Computer viruses don't work the same as those trapped in the android platform. It's a whole new world. So if people actually work together to code a virus for android platforms it's up for them and their abilities to do so.

    There are people out there that root their phones and customize their android device constantly. I would highly recommend for these people to install an Antivirus on their device. There are many false apps and android-designed software that once they get on the phone I wouldn't even want to know what would happen. I've never had my phone infected with a virus though. If you plan on rooting your phone in order to install new kernels / ROMs and so on fine, but remember that in this case you do need some app to protect you. Keep in mind that once you root your phone you get the access and permission to folders that unrooted users don't.

    The other people, however, that don't root their phones don't have the exclusive need of an app installed in their devices to protect them from malware because they don't access any websites to install kernels or customize their phones.
     
    Andorphin, Feb 2, 2016
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  20. Sefie

    vinaya

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    Mobile antivirus also work as mobile cleaner that deletes temporary files and cache that hogs the disk space. Mobile antivirus also cleans junk files.
     
    vinaya, Feb 2, 2016
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