Do you use your Android smartphone, tablet, or other devices without giving a second thought to the possibility of viruses and malware infiltrating the system? Many people never stop to think about it because they don’t think of their non-PC devices as actual computers. The truth is, your Android devices aren’t just open to malware and other bad things, they’re directly targeted.
Your Android Devices Aren’t Always Safe
You don’t have to go too far into an online search before realizing the Android operating system takes on frequent, never-ending attacks. Android mobile devices have the most malware development and the highest infection rate. This makes sense, as the Android mobile OS accounts for almost a third of all mobile operating systems worldwide.
The more users, the more potential malware. Understand that, technically, no OS is safe. Vulnerabilities come up all the time on every platform. Often, it’s user behavior that helps to introduce malware into a system. So, a safe device also requires safe practices to keep it that way.
The Most Common Types of Android Malware
Malware isn’t just one thing or one type of thing. Malware is more of an umbrella term for a plethora of intrusive software types. These types include worms, trojans, traditional viruses, spyware, adware, ransomware, and a host of others. For Android, most malware comes as one flavor of trojan or another. A successful trojan can lead to a serious number of additional problems.
Trojans do well on Android devices, but they’re not the only malware to look out for. You should understand that millions of malicious pieces of malware exist for Android devices specifically. And the number grows despite all efforts to put a dent in it.
What Malware Can Do to An Android Device
Malware can do all the things to an Android device that it can do to any other type of computing system. You can have your device malfunction, stop responding, work intermittently, slow down drastically, and have other performative issues. You may see more ads and those ads can become more intrusive as time goes on.
You can also have your personal and sensitive data stolen, ransomed, spied on, or corrupted. Some forms of malware can work on your system without you having a clue. The whole time, the code can allow someone to practically have access to every function of your device.
Is An Antivirus for Android the Answer?
An antivirus for Android can help. Still, you should consider a security package that includes antivirus protection, rather than only antivirus software.
It’s important to always keep in mind that the Android OS is still a fully-fledged operating system with a lot of moving parts. This makes it no different from the operating systems on laptops and PCs. That means protecting the functions of the system from malware and other attacks goes a long way toward keeping your Android device from becoming compromised.
As with antivirus protection for computers, the ones available for Android aren’t built to scale. Some do better than others at protecting against certain types of malware and viruses. This means it’s important to research and evaluate the antivirus offerings for Android that might fit your specific needs. They range from free to pricey, with subscription plans and additional services as well.
Sometimes, the “better than nothing” phrase might hold true. You should still put some thought into your choice of antivirus software.
Some software can become a little more invasive than you would like. Others may not do everything you want or need it to do. System slowdowns can become an issue with certain types of Android antivirus software running on certain versions of the Android OS. All the same rules apply as if you were seeking an antivirus program for any type of computer.
What Android Antivirus Software Should Come With
Features vary between apps, but in modern times, your antivirus software needs to do more than in previous generations. You’ll want robust protection and an app that can help improve the performance of your Android device, rather than sacrifice performance for the sake of the security features. Some things to look out for are:
- Frequent updates to the threat library
- High detection rates
- A built-in password manager
- Web browser security
- VPN features
- Some privacy protection features
You can consider any extra features as a bonus. For example, some antivirus software comes with anti-theft functions and various other types of safety features. Consider what you have on your device and the activities you use it for. When seeking an antivirus solution, look for those that can help protect those things specifically.
Does your Android smartphone or other device require a dedicated antivirus app? Yes, it does. Malware for the Android OS numbers in the millions. That’s on top of the other threats that can exist in some apps or from just using the internet. Do yourself a favor and investigate what antivirus and security software exist for your device as soon as possible.