Antivirus for Android? Don’t Waste your Money

Concerned about security on your Android device?  You should be.  There is indeed malware out there for Android, as evidenced by the Stagefright malware news from back in July.  And Android does have some security issues, especially with respect to older versions of Android.  But what about antivirus on Android?  Sure the Google Play Store is full of antivirus apps, many of which are big names that we recognize from the Windows world.  But while third-party antivirus applications can work well in Windows, third-party apps on Android just don’t have the bite or power to be very effective.  That’s in part because Android doesn’t give any third-party apps the sort of low-level access to the OS that Windows allows to its third-party apps.  But there is some good news:  Google Play Services already includes anti-virus and anti-malware code baked right in.  So don’t waste your money on third-party antivirus apps for Android, they’re just not worth much.  Instead keep your Android up-to-date, don’t side-load apps, and be heed any warnings that Android gives you when installing apps from the Google Play Store.  And if you’re considering a new Android device, strongly consider one of the Nexus devices.  These devices get Android updates directly from Google, and bypass the red tape and wait time needed to get security and other updates if you are using a carrier-branded Android device.  Read more here.

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