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Often you won’t be able to tell if your smartphone is under threat, or if you are about to download something potentially harmful.What's worse is that, once you are affected, you frequently won't even know it, unless an unusually high credit card bill comes in or your phone starts acting strangely.There are hundreds of antivirus apps available for free from the Google Play Store, and discerning which are best is difficult (AV-Test, an independent security institute, compile a league table every few months of the best antivirus apps for Android, should you be interested).Antivirus apps for Android work in a similar way to the antivirus software you would find on your PC.
Naturally, how they affect your system depends on how you use them, but the vast majority of Android users will never encounter any security threats or see any need to clog up their system with antivirus apps. As long as you’re careful on the Play Store, downloading apps or data from known and reputable sources, you should remain protected on Android. Threats to Android devices are becoming more and more common.
Android has a tarnished reputation for security and viruses. Just prior to the Google I/O developer conference earlier this year, Ludwig told reporters: "Do I think the average user on Android needs to install [antivirus apps]? I don’t think 99 percent plus of users get a benefit from [anti-virus apps]." Ludwig also claimed that the threat posed by Android malware has been "overstated". If the chief security engineer for Android says it ain't a problem, suggesting antivirus companies are just trying to sell their products, then should we be concerned? Security companies and antivirus app developers would respond by saying Google is simply trying to downplay the flaws in its own Play Store. A virus is a type of malicious software (malware) program, the likes of which have been infecting our PCs for decades.
As the Android platform has developed and became more widely used, so too has the number of potential threats to the system.
We are often asked whether antivirus apps for Android are necessary, and for good reason.
Apple has tried hard to discredit Android as a virus-infested swamp of malware and there have been several high-profile Android security threats. Not according to Android security chief Adrian Ludwig.