Back in the day when I used to work for one of the “big four” wireless carriers in the U.S, something that I found kind of funny was the amount of people who would use and swear by antivirus/security apps on their phones like Lookout Mobile Security and avast! Mobile Security. Now, I’m not necessarily saying that having an antivirus app on your phone is a bad thing. But what I am saying is that most people don’t really need it.
Why? Because, even though it’s true that there are viruses, trojans, and other malware that exist out there for Android, they are very few (especially when compared to Windows computers) and hard surprisingly difficult to get. In fact, protecting yourself from becoming infected by one these party poopers isn’t really all that hard to do.
Simple steps you can take to protect yourself:
For one, whenever you download an app off of Google Play make sure that you actually read the list of permissions the app requires before your press the “download and install” button. If an app requires a seemingly unrelated permission, like a flashlight asking for the use of GPS satellites, you’d probably be better off not downloading it.
Another thing you can do is to just read the app reviews that are available on Google Play. People rarely miss an opportunity to leave negative feedback for an app that they believe has something wrong with it. Just go through a couple of reviews (both the recent ones and older ones) until you get a better idea of whether or not you can trust the app.
Lastly, make sure that you download your apps from a trusted source like Google Play or the Amazon Appstore. If you’re downloading an app from somewhere else, for example a file sharing website like 4Shared, it means that just about anybody could log on and upload an app to the site. Obviously, the problem with this is that there is no way of knowing whether or not the person who uploaded the app tampered with it in anyway.
As long as you follow the simple tips mentioned above, you should be just fine. But if you still find yourself feeling a little paranoid, go ahead and download an antivirus/security app like Lookout or avast! from Google Play. Like I said earlier, having an antivirus or security app doesn’t really hurt you in anyway (except for using up your battery life). And as long as you don’t pay an arm and leg for the extra layer of protection, I don’t see any problem with it.