Today, the Android system is exposed to threats from malware and viruses. At first glance, it may seem that this is the fault of the open source code of the operating system, and the poor performance of the security system in general. But as it turned out, everything is a little different. The developers of the operating system have done a great job on security Android and made it so that even the built-in tools can protect the system from almost any kind of hacking.
The reason for the various vulnerabilities in the system lies on the surface – it is the carelessness and inattention of the users of Android devices themselves. Who, no matter how we ourselves can download applications from dubious sources, and then install them, regardless of the repeated warning Android about the danger. There are rare exceptions when the user did nothing that could lead to the system being compromised, but each case is different.
It is rumored that the operating system is highly susceptible to various vulnerabilities and viruses. But if you look, the sources of such information are the same antivirus companies that make money on 'virus protection'. It should be noted that the Android system has great capabilities for self-defense against malicious software. And even a virus, in this case, has a different meaning, since most users compare them with viruses on Windows, which has a completely different architecture and, accordingly, a different effect of viruses.
Android Security Tools
System Android capabilities to protect against 'Viruses':
- Google Play is a built-in catalog of applications, it is the first and main type of protection against malicious software. First, the system checks all applications in the market for the presence of a malignant code, and if found, deletes them. Secondly, after installing an application from the market or a third-party Apk file (this is a file of any application, game for your smartphone / tablet), the Play protection system automatically checks it for malware, in which case, blocks its operation.
- By default, installation from third-party Apk files is disabled in Android, which protects inexperienced users from possible installation of an application with a 'Virus'.
- Before installing the application from the market or Apk file, the system will show a list of the features that the application can use, and most importantly, it will indicate possible risks (sending paid SMS messages or calls) and note that such functions may be paid.
- Permission system – after installing the application, Android does not allow you to use all the system resources at once The user will be able to give each permission to the application separately, for example, use the camera, access files, the ability to send SMS and make calls, etc. In the case of SMS and calls, the user should think about it, since such SMS can be paid, and if he gives this permission, then he assumes that the application can send a paid SMS. But even in this case, Android will warn the sluggish user about an attempt to send SMS by the application.
As you can see, the system is rich in built-in device protection capabilities. But the user can ignore any of these points, namely:
- disable Play protection and prohibit checking applications not from the Market;
- remove the ban on installing applications from unverified sources;
- install apps with questionable permission requirements;
- give permission to the application that shouldn't have been given.
Also, the user can independently make the system even more vulnerable by installing ROOT rights on the device, which open access to system files for potentially dangerous programs.
Thus, the user himself can allow the 'viruses' to control his device. In this case, antiviruses can help – many users will say. Therefore, we will consider several popular antiviruses and their work on the device in order to answer the question of whether they are needed for Android.
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Avast has long been known for its personal computer products. Thus, the antivirus application for Android inspires confidence.
The first thing that catches your eye is the conditional free program. In order to disable ads in the antivirus or start using additional functions, you must pay one of the tariffs. You can pay for both a month and a year, but for a year it is more profitable.
The app includes several features:
- Scan the device for hidden threats;
- Cleaning up RAM to speed up the device;
- Blocking ads in apps;
- Wi-Fi network security check;
- Remote control of the phone in case of theft;
- Using the built-in VPN server to hide your online activities.
One problem was found on my phone after scanning the device, which was that the device was allowed to install from unknown sources. The antivirus did not detect any programs that could be dangerous for the device (working with ROOT).
In general, Avast is designed for security and anonymity on the Internet; in this area, the application has rich functionality. The antivirus rarely reacts to the installation of applications in the device.
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Kaspersky Mobile Security
Anti-virus from Kaspersky Lab. Has a free version of the program with limited functionality. For an inexpensive subscription, about 400 rubles. a year Kaspersky offers quite a few features, such as:
- Real-time protection without manual scanning;
- Blocking applications with a special code for privacy;
- SMS phishing protection;
- Internet protection;
- Hide private contacts and messages.
In general, the antivirus provided is designed to ensure anonymity and protect data from prying eyes. The application, like antivirus for PCs, updates the signature databases (by which it searches for viruses and potentially dangerous applications). And if you purchased a license for an antivirus on a PC, then you do not have to subscribe to the mobile application and activate the main license.
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Eset mobile security
The application that most resembles an antivirus. The interface is similar to a computer, and the functions are more aimed at protecting against external threats. The first time you log in, you will need to enter your email to create a personal license. The program is paid, but provides free access for a month. A license for a year costs up to 400 rubles.
After scanning the operating system, eset is the only antivirus that indicated the presence of ROOT in the phone and offered to fix the situation.
And in general, Virus Protection is in the first place among the tools, followed by Antiphishing, Anti-theft and other small tools. To speed up the phone, there are separate applications that are incorrectly included in the antivirus.
Eset also offers to see all applications that have been granted certain permissions, which allows you to remove questionable applications.
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Quite a popular antivirus application, it has in its arsenal a couple of dozen useful utilities to keep the device running. It contains a free version with ads that pops up after using each option and a Premium version with additional features for 899 rubles per year or 2090 rubles for the unlimited version. Almost all functions of this antivirus are aimed at freeing up memory and speeding up the phone: smart acceleration, cooling, battery saving, speeding up games, speeding up applications, speeding up wi-fi – all this is aimed only at killing processes that are unwanted by the antivirus.
In terms of device security, these settings are somewhere in the last places, most of which are available with the premium version, and half of these functions relate to ensuring the anonymity and privacy of the device, and not protection from external threats.
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A useful tool to keep your device running smoothly. Introduces the animal named 'Teepee' to the user interface and serves as an assistant throughout the entire use of the program. Antivirus has a set of tools to optimize and speed up your device, remove junk, protect applications from prying eyes and all that kind of stuff. The application does not insist on purchasing the paid version and works fine without purchasing, since the ads are not aggressive here.
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It does not need a description, since the antivirus is the same as Avast, which can be found above in the article.
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Where can you get the virus?
This question is rhetorical. Based on the antivirus applications discussed above, we can conclude that you can do without them and remain 'safe'. Since most of them simply either speed up or clean the device, only Eset antivirus and Kaspersky paid attention to viruses.
Viruses on Android will be applications that can secretly track the user, either issue advertising messages from scratch, or try to steal money. Such applications can be downloaded from any site other than the Play Store. The presence of ROOT on the device is also a virus by definition. For this reason, some Internet banks and payment applications (Sberbank, Google Pay) do not allow full use of all opportunities with such vulnerabilities. But this system is easy to get around, but again, the user does it more to harm, and not to his own benefit.
Considering the carelessness of users and their persistence in installing a known malicious application, we can conclude that no antivirus will save such a user. For this reason, antivirus for Android has more of a calming role than an effective one.