Anti-Virus on the it necessary?


Well-known member
Dec 10, 2013
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I applaud Sony for inclusion of AVG anti-virus to protect it's customers.
AVG was a respected name on the desktop for years.
Over the years I have lost track regarding AV;
MS started carrying it's own AV which was inclusive or free for download.
I just wonder if it's necessary for phones.
By it's nature it must effect performance to some extent. No matter how light a touch it still must touch.
I'm considering removal.
What are your thoughts regarding anti-virus and phones.
Thank you for your opinion.

B. Diddy

Senior Ambassador
Mar 9, 2012
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In general, antivirus itself is probably unnecessary on Android devices, since Google will actually scan apps on your device for malware (if you allow them to--check "Verify Apps" in Google Settings). Currently, Android malware can only cause problems if you allow it to install. I think there have been a couple of reports of drive-by malware, but it appears exceedingly rare. You'll be ok if you follow some guidelines:

1. Be cautious of certain websites that offer things like porn, gambling, "free movie/music" (which is likely pirated).
2. If you see a popup telling you that you need to install something urgently (e.g., telling you that your phone is infected with a virus, or vulnerable), don't accept it. Just hit the Back button, and exit out of that browser tab.
3. Avoid downloading .apk installer files from filesharing sites, since they might contain malware, and the apps themselves are probably pirated.
4. Before installing any app from Google Play, read some of the reviews. Look for any red flags, like people complaining of ads, redirects, or other shady behavior.

That being said, I don't think there's anything wrong with being safe and keeping an antivirus app on board. Malware authors are unfortunately some of the smartest people around, so it's just a matter of time before they develop more devious malware. In addition, many antivirus apps include other useful antitheft features. For example, Lookout will take a picture with the front-facing camera if someone fails the unlock PIN/pattern 3 times in a row, and then sends the picture to you as an alert.