Yay or Nay: Security/Antivirus Apps needed?

Mezzanine7

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Just curious.

Are apps such as CM security(and the 1000 other bland look alikes), 360 security, etc needed?

I understand some have other useful features but from a virus/ malware standpoint are these apps really important? Should one have to worry about viruses if they only download from the play store or stay away from the filthier sites on the web?

Do they just take up Space and Ram?
 

B. Diddy

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My few cents:

For the most part, it's still quite difficult to get an actual virus on your phone, because malware requires you to manually accept the installation (which is why they try to fool you into thinking you're installing something legitimate). Use common sense:

1. Avoid shady websites that deal with things like porn, gambling, and "free" (aka pirated) apps/music/movies.

2. Never ever tap on a link that appears in a popup while browsing, especially if they're warning you that your phone is infected -- they're just trying to scare you into installing some bogus "antivirus" app that is probably malicious itself.

3. Only install apps from well-established app sources like Google Play Store or Amazon Appstore. Read a bunch of app reviews before installing an app to look for any complaints about adware or suspected malware.

4. Turn on Google Play Protect features in Settings>Google>Security. This allows Google to periodically scan your phone's apps to look for malware.

5. Turn off "Unknown Sources" in Settings>Security. This prevents any app that wasn't obtained from Google Play Store from being installed (which could include malicious apps that are inadvertently downloaded).
 
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B. Diddy nailed it.

But I did buy Bit Defender along with the Bit Defender VPN. I'm in Canada, so VPN is usefull for blocked American content.

Samsung does have half decent antivirus built into their premium phones.... But I use Bit Defender for all my devices.
 

Mezzanine7

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PapaGary, thanks for the Article.

B.Diddy, I completely agree. Sadly, common sense isn't so common anymore.

I was using Kaspersky internet security for the call blocking/text phising feature but I really wasn't concerned about the antivirus part itself.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.
 

hallux

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CM security

If you feel the need to use one, AVOID this one!

CM is Cheetah Mobile. What does the word "cheater" sound like with a Boston accent? There ya go. That company has a history of shady goings-on.

That said - I don't use anything but the built-in security features and I have NONE of the random ad pop-ups that we so often see posted about on the forums. As @B. Diddy detailed, it's all about being careful with how you do things and not falling for the pop-overs.

Don't get me wrong, I've been on sites (including some of my local news outlet sites) that popped an ad over top of the site. What did I do? I hit the home button, killed the browser/tab and it was gone, with no further attempts against my security.

Oh yeah, those battery saver and RAM cleaner apps are just snake oil. Android WANTS to use as much RAM as the phone has, that helps keep things at the ready for you, and using those RAM cleaners can actually HURT battery life. I don't use either of those kinds of apps on my devices.
 

Morty2264

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I would say "nay." As long as you do not browse questionable sites or click on any pop-ups or suspicious links, then I think that alone is enough to protect you. Plus, if you are with a manufacturer like Google that gets habitual security updates, that may also give you further piece of mind and an extra bit of protection.
 

Mezzanine7

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If you feel the need to use one, AVOID this one!

CM is Cheetah Mobile. What does the word "cheater" sound like with a Boston accent? There ya go. That company has a history of shady goings-on.

That said - I don't use anything but the built-in security features and I have NONE of the random ad pop-ups that we so often see posted about on the forums. As @B. Diddy detailed, it's all about being careful with how you do things and not falling for the pop-overs.

Don't get me wrong, I've been on sites (including some of my local news outlet sites) that popped an ad over top of the site. What did I do? I hit the home button, killed the browser/tab and it was gone, with no further attempts against my security.

Oh yeah, those battery saver and RAM cleaner apps are just snake oil. Android WANTS to use as much RAM as the phone has, that helps keep things at the ready for you, and using those RAM cleaners can actually HURT battery life. I don't use either of those kinds of apps on my devices.



A "Boston accent" 😂😂 That had me rolling. I've considered CM a joke for quite a while. I used that name because it is one of the most popular apps out there I believe.

I also don't use RAM closer apps, nor battery saver apps. I do however, have greenify installed to shut down some system apps and other things, but I seldom use it. Seems apps like that do more harm than good.
 

B. Diddy

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I do however, have greenify installed to shut down some system apps and other things, but I seldom use it.

I think this app can be useful. There can be annoying preinstalled bloatware that is completely unnecessary and yet can't be disabled, so that's where Greenify comes in.
 

Almeuit

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I never did. I only install from the Play Store and really only use big apps (not one off devs).
 

odd1ne

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If you feel the need to use one, AVOID this one!


Oh yeah, those battery saver and RAM cleaner apps are just snake oil. Android WANTS to use as much RAM as the phone has, that helps keep things at the ready for you, and using those RAM cleaners can actually HURT battery life. I don't use either of those kinds of apps on my devices.

I heard they use more battery as android will keep trying to fill the ram younhave just emptied android ram runs kind of the opposite to windows and that's what confuses people
 

Mooncatt

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I heard they use more battery as android will keep trying to fill the ram younhave just emptied android ram runs kind of the opposite to windows and that's what confuses people
Exactly. The RAM uses the same amount of power whether it's full or empty, which is why it's best to let it remain in use.

I haven't messed with current versions of Windows, but it's my understanding even it now manages RAM this way.
 

Rukbat

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My few cents:

For the most part, it's still quite difficult to get an actual virus on your phone, because malware requires you to manually accept the installation (which is why they try to fool you into thinking you're installing something legitimate). Use common sense:

Even for those few viruses that silently install themselves in Windows, most Windows viruses are simple scripts, easily manipulated by "script kiddies" (wannabe software developers), and there are enough of them detected by easily-changed parts of the script, so there's always a threat.

In Android it's different. There's no built-in scripting engine, so a virus or other malware has to be an actual app, actually written by someone who actually knows what he's doing - and there aren't many people like that, even writing legitimate apps. (A lot of the apps in Play have comments about the app being a joke, or not working - supposedly legitimate apps.) People who can actually start with a blank page in Android Studio and write a half-decent virus don't - they write apps that do it the way they want it done, then release them on Play, and if they charge 99 cents, and the app is really great, they become kind of rich. Becoming known as the developer who developed apps A, B and C, when those are great apps, is a lot more satisfying than the nebulous thrill of "maybe my virus ruined someone's phone today. Even Zuckerberg (and Facebook always has bugs and glitches) is thought of as pretty good. Kevin Mitnick? Not so much.
 

anon(10181084)

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If you're someone who likes finding abandonware, you need a decent antivirus (Kaspersky works best for everyone) because occasionally hackers will try to offer an obscure APK with add-on malware.
 

niketathakare

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The vast majority of known Android viruses have been installed on the back of dubious apps - apps you will no longer find in the Google Play store. By default Android does not allow you to install apps from other sources, so there's no chance of you accidentally installing something nefarious.:):)
 

Brian Edward

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Never have I ever used.
In 2014 I downloaded Spiderman game for a friend. It had malware. Erased everything on phone.. Google got me whole within a week or 2. But even then I never thought twice about using security
 

I_didnt_do_it

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As long as you don't download from unknown and untrusted sources, browse in a lot of unsecure and "filth" sites, you'll be fine without an antivirus app. The best phone security is YOU.