Android viruses have hit the headlines before, leading users to think that installing some sort of security software is a good idea. It goes almost without saying: the more popular Android becomes the more cases of malware we’re going to see as it keeps getting targetted it is for the bad guys….just ask Microsoft. But do you really need to install a resource- and battery-hogging antivirus app on your phone that is going to plague you with irritating notifications?
See, there’s no running from the fact that Android viruses do exist. Also true is the fact that the vast majority of known Android viruses have been installed on the back of dubious apps – apps you will no longer find in the Google Play Store. That said, a little caution when online goes a long way.
By default, Android blocks the installation of apps from unknown sources. What this means is that there’s no chance of you accidentally installing something nefarious on your droid…of course unless you’re being really stupid and careless, in which case, anything is possible really.
Google Play Protect
Suppose for instance that a fishy app does find its way onto the Google Play Store, Google will quickly pull the app and uninstall it from your device. Google Play Protect helps you keep your device safe and secure. It runs a safety check on apps from the Google Play Store before you download them. It checks your device for potentially harmful apps from other sources. These harmful apps are sometimes called malware.
Malware on Android can be pretty easy to get rid of.
If you are seeing suspicious pop-up ads in your browser, or you keep being redirected to a different home page to that which they configured in the settings. A quick fix would be to clear out the browser’s data cache (in Settings > Apps > Chrome > Storage).
Supposing your Android phone or tablet does start acting oddly as described or in other strange ways, and you have reason to believe malware is at play: a factory reset is all that’s required to get it back to normal (one reason why it’s a good idea to always back up Android).
Also Read: Do you still need an Antivirus software?
Like we’ve mentioned before on this platform, a healthy dose of common sense when online goes a really long way. In 2018 and with all this talk on cyber security, you wouldn’t click on an attachment in a dodgy email from a sender you don’t recognise on your PC or laptop, and we hope you would apply that same thinking to suspicious links sent in Gmail on your phone or via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Typically, these type of links are associated with phishing scams, but that doesn’t mean they won’t install a virus on your device.
If you really want to go for an antivirus on your device after all, and you really don’t care much for the resources it’ll be hogging on your device, you might want to take advantage of the other features suck applications offer. For instance, most have benefits such as the ability to remotely lock or wipe a lost or stolen phone, or backup and cleanup tools.