Android antivirus, is it really needed?

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
Author and references

Let's look at the advantages or disadvantages of installing an antivirus on an Android phone and help you decide if it's really necessary. 1 or 2 major mobile "viruses" appear every year. One of the most famous of recent times has been the famous Stagefright by we talked about a few years ago, which made the debate reopen again, about the usefulness of installing a antivirus on android, be it free the payment.

Yes, the system is secure nowadays, but even so, there are several cybersecurity companies that have developed their own free Antivirus for Android in Spanish, such as AVG antivirus or Avast.

The theoretical function of these applications is to protect us from all kinds of malware, phishing and other family members. The point is that the amount of really dangerous malicious software that can harm a phone is negligible and therefore, roughly, Android terminals they are not at risk of getting infected.

This is why a virus that spreads becomes "famous", like the one mentioned at the beginning, since it is rare in Android to suffer attacks of this type. Furthermore, these applications I am unable to detect a very strong virus in our terminal.

With this we are not saying that they do not perform their function. These applications work and react well to basic or outdated malware, such as tracking “cookies” or known malicious programs. 

But many of them have extra tools added, such as the typical and unnecessary RAM cleaning or hardware acceleration. Although they come with useful features like freeing up storage space on your Android phone.

In this article we will also talk about:

  • Android and malware, two old acquaintances
  • How can I get infected?
  • What is the best free Android antivirus?
  • I deleted the infected app, but I'm still infected
  • So why are there antivirus apps on Android and how do they work?
  • Bottom line, should I worry about viruses on Android?

Android and malware, two old acquaintances

Malware is defined, understanding its straight English etymology, as malicious software. In other words, is malicious software that tries to infect your device, be it a PC, a smartphone or any other electronic device likely to be attacked. 

At the beginning of the Google OS, there was a lot of hysteria with this problem and search the best free antivirus for android is started to become more than a habit.

Denying that there is malware on Android would not make sense, since it exists. However, it doesn't work like it does on computers, because unlike the computeran application cannot work on Android if we don't give it permission

On a PC it is not strange that while browsing a web page an executable file is downloaded - it happens especially to users with less practice, of course - and if you are unlucky it can stay on your machine without you noticing.

If we browse an insecure site and an APK tries to download, the user must first authorize the browser to download the file, so he has to manually install the APK. 

La safety of Android prevents automatic installation of APK files, so everything hosted on your terminal is your responsibility.

How to tell if your smartphone has a virus

This is precisely the double-edged sword of Android, APK. On many occasions, we are looking for free or modified versions of some applications found in the Play Store, and it's extremely easy to replace the app package you're looking for with another one with malicious code, which ends up affecting your terminal.

On the other hand, and something more difficult to get rid of, is the malware hosted in the Play Store. Are there any viruses on Google Play? Although Google's security checks are getting more and more thorough, the danger still exists and we can download a virus from the Google store without realizing it.

It wouldn't be the first time hundreds of malicious apps have been discovered which, of course, Google removes from the store once they are detected.

What is the best antivirus for Android smartphone? The answer is you

Fortunately, Android's permission management system allows us to identify a virus on our phones, or at least suspect that it may be. 

As you well know, said permission management in Android is manual, that is, for an app to access GPS, phone, camera and others, you must accept these permissions one by one both when you install it in APK format, and when it's time to run it if it comes from the Play Store.

If you download a flashlight app, it makes no sense for the package to ask for access to calls. If you download a calculator app, there is no point in asking for camera permissions. In general, it is quite easy to detect the bad intentions of some developers, except in certain cases where we have no escape.

There are also occasions when applications that do not require additional permissions, and that have "normal" behavior, collect information about us, to send it to external servers

Unfortunately, there is no way to detect this type of malicious software, although fortunately it is becoming less and less common. To avoid this, we always recommend that you use the basic applications that come with your phone and not replace them with third-party ones.

Il common sense therefore plays a fundamental role in this phase. While it can be boring on occasion, we won't waste more than a few minutes reviewing the permissions that the application we're about to install requires of us. And if it does not inspire confidence or we see something strange, we will have to avoid installing it.

I deleted the infected app, but I'm still infected

In case you have had the misfortune that your smartphone has been infected by installing an app, and also by deleting it you can't delete it, don't worry, because there are solutions

In Android there are always residual folders, in which it is possible to continue to host files, in this case malicious. It can be quite difficult to find the path where the files that infect you are still located, so in such cases it is best to reset Android to factory settings.

Why install the antivirus on an Android smartphone?

Download an antivirus for Android it is something normal for millions of users, mainly due to a lack of information and the fear of a virus "getting in". 

For this reason, many of the developers who create these computer products also develop their own version for mobile phones and some of them have thousands of downloads.

Free Antivirus for Android, the best

As we said throughout the article, these apps can be useful in certain circumstances, but we must point out the extra consumption of terminal resources that having them installed implies, consume a lot of battery, RAM, and ultimately weigh down on performance.

On the other hand, if the antivirus detects an unusual authorization, it will warn you that the application is a virus, but this will not always be the case. False positives are generally common, as many antivirus programs consider any app installed outside of Google Play to be dangerous.

Bottom line, do I have to worry about viruses on Android?

Really, no, you don't have to worry about viruses on android. Simply use your mobile phone with caution, as with any other electronic device.

If you come across an intrusive page while browsing, close it from the tabs. If an APK tries to install without your permission, reject the installation and if since you installed an application from the Google store you have observed strange behavior of the terminal, delete it immediately.

The endless catalog of Android applications makes it easy to find malicious content, but common sense is much stronger than an antivirus

Responsible use of your mobile will avoid any kind of malicious application, so download only the applications you really need, do not browse suspicious pages and enjoy your mobile, as absolutely nothing will happen to them.

For all of this, the best free antivirus for your android is yourself.

Further Reading:

  • The best alternatives to Avast Antivirus
  • How to uninstall Kaspersky Antivirus from Mac or PC
  • How to uninstall Norton Antivirus from any computer
  • How to remove advertisements that pop up on their own
  • How to uninstall Malwarebytes from any computer

add a comment of Android antivirus, is it really needed?
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.