Users frequently ask us if Android phones are susceptible to viruses. There is no definite answer to this question, as the susceptibility of the Android phone greatly depends on actions of the user.
Like every other Operating System, Android has security vulnerabilities for which Google offers security patches as soon as these vulnerabilities are uncovered. To understand the susceptibility factor, you need to first understand how app and the Android ecosystem work.
Apps and the Android ecosystem
Every Android app has its own UID on install. By default, the Android app does not have any rights outside of its home directory. It does not have permission to write on the screen nor does it have permission to execute itself. Android applications are required to request permissions from the user to perform other actions like read the user’s contacts, make a phone call, use Bluetooth stack, camera, or access the network. This means unless you are careless about the permissions, there is limited possibility of viruses affecting your phone. Google always recommends you download apps from trusted sources only. If you follow this very important rule, the chances of getting a virus on your phone are rare.
Android Malware – Fact or Fiction
Though it is very rare that your Android phone may get infected with a virus, the possibility can’t be ruled out completely. Android malware exists and it can affect your mobile if you are careless. There have been cases where developers have been able to get entry for their malicious apps in the Play Store, but Google has always been fast to react to apps that can potentially cause harm to Android devices.
Do you need an antivirus for an Android phone?
There are plenty of antivirus solutions for Android but how necessary are they? Security experts working at Google will say that 99% of Android users don’t need an antivirus solution because the traditional viruses don’t affect the Android platform. When we talk about virus related to Android platform, we mainly speak about malicious apps that the user chooses to download.
How to stay safe and keep your Android free from viruses?
The vast majority of Android malware is focused on stealing information, which is a major security concern for most of us. You can remain safe by always updating the app and also updating the Operating System whenever any update is available. You need to be careful while downloading apps and granting them permissions. Using open WiFi networks also pose a big risk, so it’s better you avoid them and use secure WiFi networks only. Using a VPN is a good idea to secure communication and data traffic from and to the mobile.