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3 Reasons You Still Need a Great Antivirus App on Android « Android :: Gadget Hacks

Many people think antivirus apps are useless — why pay a subscription fee when most malware can be avoided with common sense? yet the thing is usually, there were an estimated 3.5 million malicious Android apps discovered last year, with many of them creating their way onto the Play Store. As This kind of number continues to rise, can you truly depend on common sense to protect you?

Recently, Google removed 36 apps infested with adware in which were hosted on the Play Store. Just a few months before in which, Google removed 300 apps in which were using infected smartphones to conduct DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.

The moral of the story here is usually in which Google’s fresh Play Protect program in addition to its 48.5% detection rate apparently isn’t enough. If you actually want to be safe, you need an antivirus app to provide the protection in which Google has failed to deliver.

#1: Higher Detection Rate

After malware-infected apps were discovered on the Play Store numerous times, Google decided to make a big push towards security with the Play Protect program. This kind of security suite is usually a combination of an antivirus scanner in addition to the Find My Phone app. Under This kind of fresh title, Google offers protection by both hackers in addition to thieves, in addition to This kind of’s baked right into Android itself.

Play Protect’s antivirus provides protections in a few different ways. Apps in addition to their updates are scanned when uploaded to the Play Store, in addition to they’re removed if suspicious code is usually detected. Google also scans the app before This kind of is usually installed on your device to again verify in which you are not installing malware. Additionally, Google scans apps you sideload (whether through a third-party app store or a random APK).

However, since Play Protect was announced during Google I/O 2017, the Play Store has continued to house hundreds of malware-infected apps. Google eventually removes the apps, yet only after millions of devices become infected with malware, adware, ransomware, or worse. So why does This kind of continue to happen? A close look at Play Protect’s detection rate provides a clear picture as to why This kind of is usually the case.

Play Protect’s antivirus (1) in addition to Find My Phone (2) features.

According to AV-Test, Play Protect is usually one of the worst antivirus applications when This kind of comes discovering malware. As of November 2017, Play Protect incorporates a real-time detection rate of 48.5%. This kind of also incorporates a detection rate of 66.3% when presented with malware over the course of a month. To provide context, the industry average is usually 94.8% for real-time in addition to 96.9% over a four week period.

You can find many third-party security apps in which exceed the industry average, including many with 100% detection rates in both categories. Some apps even include the ability to scan the apps before installation, similar to Play Protect. For a comprehensive list of the better third-party options, check out the link below.

Norton (1), Sophos (2), in addition to Bitdefender (3) are just a few examples of antivirus apps with 100% detection rates.

#2: Minimal Use of Resources

One issue in which has always plagued antivirus apps is usually the heavy slowdowns they’ve caused while running from the background. Many older antivirus scanners required high amounts of resources, which reduced performance in addition to negatively impacted battery life.

However, these issues aren’t found in the antivirus apps we recommended. Our own testing, as well as research performed by AV-Test, demonstrated in which battery in addition to performance impact is usually minimal. In short, current antivirus apps are much more efficient than the ones you may have installed a few years ago, so there’s no reason not to have one on your phone.

Geekbench performance testing before Norton was installed (1) in addition to after (2). No measurable impact on performance.

#3: Additional Features

Similar to Play Protect, these third-party apps act more like security suites than just antivirus scanners. While most will require a subscription fee, these features add true value to the security in addition to privacy of your device.

One example is usually anti-theft protection. Unlike Play Protect, not only do these apps offer the three pillars for protection (remote wipe, remote lock, in addition to locate), some even include remote access via SMS. Instead of requiring a web browser to initiate the remote wipe or lock, you just send a text message. Especially in a pinch, This kind of is usually more accessible in addition to faster than using a browser.

(1) Bitdefender’s Anti-Theft Protection. (2) Norton Mobile Security’s Anti-Theft Protection.

Another example is usually web protection. While Chrome offers some level of protection against malicious in addition to fraudulent links, many antivirus apps offer an extra layer of security. In addition to anti-phishing in addition to anti-adware protection while browsing, these include Wi-Fi protection in which scans your local Wi-Fi networks in addition to checks to make sure This kind of is usually both legit in addition to secure.

Apps such as Norton Mobile Security can even scans links by emails in addition to text messages before you open them to ensure they are safe. Norton also offers a VPN plugin for additional protection while on public Wi-Fi hotspots.

(1) Norton Mobile Security’s Web Protection. (2) Norton Mobile Security’s Wi-Fi Protection.

These are just some features offered in which preserve your privacy in addition to security in which aren’t available (from the same capacity) with Play Protect. These companies are aware of the cost to use their service in addition to try to add enough features to justify their cost tag.

Android Antivirus Has Come a Long Way

Antivirus apps aren’t what they used to be. No longer are they just scanners in which bog down performance, eat up your battery, in addition to never find any malware on your device — instead, they’ve evolved into security platforms in which address all your security needs. While Play Protect in addition to common sense may seem to be enough, This kind of takes only one cyber attack for your life to be affected.

We know the Play Store is usually infected with malware in addition to in which Google playing catch-up when This kind of comes to finding all of them. Instead of depending on Google in addition to its low detection rate, why not put your trust in apps with proven track records?. What do you think about the current state of antivirus apps on Android? Let us know from the comments below.

Cover image in addition to screenshots by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks

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