Friday, February 17, 2012

DISCUSSION - Antivirus for Android, Are They Really Effective?

Although the linux-based Android is a well protected system, I doesn't mean that it will not be affected by viruses, Trojans and worms. Viruses for linux do exist, and they're getting more popular as the linux user-base keeps growing.

Recently, the reputatble AV-TEST lab has conducted some tests on Android antivirus. Yoy may be surprised to read their reported results: http://www.av-test.org/fileadmin/pdf/avtest_2011-11_free_android_virus_scanner_english.pdf

In summary, many popluar free antivirus solutions for Android are not as effective as they're thought to be. Detection rate is poor. The concern of false sense of security is valid, which a user believes that his data is being well protected. Sadly, many Android phones and tablets WILL store much sensitive or confidential information.

There's no other more effective measure than USER AWARENESS of the risk involved in using any technological products. Of course, I'm not objecting the idea of having an antivirus app. But, it is no replacement for our carefulness and awareness of the risk factor. Follow good practices, like:

  • Install only reputable apps from Android Market; before you install an app, assess the risk involved in giving out the different system rights to the app
  • Turn off your wifi when not in use
  • Worst scenario - what if your phone / tablet is stolen, hacked, what is your emergency plan? Can you survive that?
  • A Rooted Android may give you much more freedom in installing apps and try different things, yet it also at the same time increases the extend of damages that a virus can have on your device system

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