22
Jan

This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see If Android Ceased To Exist, What OS Would Your Next Device Be?

Antivirus apps are big business on Android. Just run a search on our site and you can see there are tons of big-name apps for our beloved OS that help protect users from malware, track lost devices, and manage privacy (among other things). Millions have downloaded such apps, and sometimes paid fairly large sums (in relation to other apps, anyway) for the protection they offer.

Simply put, then, do you use antivirus on any of your Android devices? If so, just on select ones, or on all of them? After voting, head down to the comments to share your thoughts.

Do You Use An Antivirus App On Your Android Device(s)?

View Results

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Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • Bo

    Would an anti-virus app make other apps/emails/messages open slower? Time to scan?

    • SHADOW

      not really, some of them scan apps you install only when installing it and once a week another check of the system, so it is rather convenient.

      I haven't been using one for a month or two now because I was diagnosing some issues with a phone, now I just dont know which one to take. Looking for a decent combo that will be antivir, root support to work silently, locate my (stolen) phone and wipe proof etc

      • Marshall

        Get Avast. They bought theft aware. Anti-virus, firewall(root req), call and sms blocker, and anti-theft with robust root support. Look at any of the theft aware reviews on this webpage and now add the word free. Best there is in all aspects.

        • Androiduser

          Agree... just started using Avast and don't see any slowdowns. Truly the best AV app... with the subscript FREE!

        • Paul

          Same here. I don't really care for/need the antivirus portion, but the firewall and tracking thing (from theft aware) is what really got me. Maybe one day the Antivirus thing will catch something on some site or some malicious app but that's low priority for me, it doesn't slow down mt phone anyway.

        • snowman

          I just tried avast the other day and luckily I woke up early the next day because my phone was stuck in a bootloop and I had to restore to a previous backup. That is the only app I installed that day.

    • Rodger

      A perfect antivirus software will not let your application run slow...So go with the established organizations software for a better result.

  • Joris

    Yes, but I've never had to use it...
    I think it's just like computers.
    You can do perfect without them, but just
    to be safe ;)

    • Jon Garrett

      I often wonder if anti-virus apps even work. I think they're scams.

      • Steve

        I disagree, though not entirely. Some definitely are scams, and some try but fail.
        I use Comodo Internet Security (in-built HIPS and sandboxing, which is the main function for me) and it has actually stopped a virus. Once.
        It alerted me to some weirdly named application trying to run unnoticed in the background while I was visiting a legitimate site that had an ad banner spreading infections around. They didn't know this and supposedly neither did the ad company, and these kind of things barely ever happen, but I digress.
        It would've bypassed UAC, installed a trojans etc, is the point. (I was actually curious and ran the thing in a virtual machine :P)
        Comodo caught it, denied all access, and I was alerted.
        But overall, safe behaviour does stop almost everything. However, when the technology is made to be stealthy and this is done well enough, you can be screwed without knowing it. Then again, those kind of infections are barely ever caught by traditional virus scanners, the viruses evolve too fast to be caught by signatures. You need something that does preventative care like a good HIPS, but even they can theoretically be bypassed, so I don't even know where I'm going with this anymore :P
        Sorry for the wall of text ;)
        Ps. As for mobile, I use Avast, mainly for the Anti-Theft (the best out there! (Or is there even better? :P)) though, mobile viruses have yet to progress to the level that they're impossible to spot ;)

  • http://imgur.com/CuKA2 SoFloEasycore

    I use an antivirus app on my phone, but only for the track/lock/wipe features.

    • Tee

      I'd suggest 'Where's My Droid' for you. It does only what you need. No unnecessary bits to be installed.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

    Might be worth adding the option for "considering it" / "Will be Soon"

    I haven't installed one yet, but I've been keeping a couple of tabs open with articles about Avast and somebody else just because I want to research them a bit more before jumping in.

  • jjrudey

    If I ever need to use one on my phone then I am switching to an OS that doesn't need one. Regardless of openness.

  • housry23

    I use Avast on my phone. I had tried others and they all slowed the phone down or drained the battery. Avast seems to do neither and is by far the best out there.

    • JudyMoody

      Ditto!! I've had Avast for about a month and havent noticed any issues with speed.

  • http://www.toollinks.de Michael

    I use Kaspersky, got it for free.

  • http://www.techiezworld.com Amit Kumar

    I don't need antivirus. they are not of any use. they should grow mature like PC antivirus.

  • Kok Kee

    Lookout, only because of the missing device feature

  • Kaustubh Ghanekar

    No. It will eat some of my RAM, and Disk Space. No need for one because I use one on my PC, and install apps only that I trust.

  • richard

    avast! for the amazing anti-theft.

  • tekrhino

    I've been using AVG Pro.

  • dward2828

    Only anti-theft (SeekDroid). I'll use antivirus when there's a threat that doesn't rely on me being stupid...

  • Dalton 1

    I am using AVG pro also and like their latest update. Works for me!

  • James

    I don't use anti-virus software because I don't download things like "BIG BOOBS 6" and other obvious malware to my phone.

  • adam

    Nope. Not needed nor on my desktop either.
    Common sense will save you from having to use those.

  • sadrossi

    No. I trust AV companies about as I would trust the crackhead down the street to watch my house. They employ scare-mongering to sell their products and the media helps to perpetuate their cause.

  • LadyDi

    Have never had the need to use an anti-virus program on the phone. I had Where's My DROID (paid) to locate a phone I never lost. Finally let that go recently.

  • darkharlequin

    I don't use any anti-virus, but I do have Sprints protection app for tracking/wiping. I don't consider that anti-virus, so I voted NO.
    I had one before, and I never saw any use in it. I don't pirate apps, so I always install from a known dev with legitimate reviews. And if all else fails, I always have a current nandroid back up.

  • Bill Collier

    On my SamNex i haven't installed yet, but on my Sam Player, and Transformer i have because of being on public wifi. I've never had an incident so i'm not sure if its needed at all, better safe than sorry.

  • Adrian

    only because Avast has root features for anti-theft

  • Pawnty

    Uhh... I dont see a need for one so no

  • JohnK

    I use webroot on phone and pc. On phone for lost device and pc because I've got 2 teenage sons. Can't keep an eye on them 24-7

  • Dennis F. Heffernan

    I don't feel a need for antivirus because I only download apps from the official market and Amazon. That said I have been considering rooting my Atrix so I can run Avast for its other features.

  • http://itcoffeeaddict.blogspot.com/ AndrewH

    Had one installed then removed it per Verizon when debugging an issue. Verizon support claimed that it isn't needed because they already have AV to protect the device. I'd really like to know where the AV resides. Did they embed something in their version of the OS? Are they referring to filtering over their network? If yes, what about when I use WiFi?

  • Vision77

    I use LBE Privacy Guard and common sense....like why does a live wallpaper app need my contacts, phone ID, location, internet access and the ability to dial phone numbers....It shouldn't in most cases...At the same time I see most of the anti-virus apps doing the same thing that malware does(mining for data) but only for a different purpose....I am not a fan of data mining without my permission (ciq)....In addition I use Traffic Stats to see how much data apps are downloading/uploading.

  • Himmat

    As long as you know what you're dealing with, I think you'd not need an Anti-virus. Most people have them because 1) They're ignorant and think its *necessary* 2) They sideload apps and whatnot from non-reputable sources. Even then, if you know your sources well, you don't need the anti-Virus.

  • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

    I have lookout currently installed, but I only use it for tracking purpose. I rarely install new apps, and I only get them through the Android Market. I only disabled side-loading to avoid accidental APK installs.

  • Andy

    LOL AP i do use Lookout but only for the lost phone bit, everything else is disabled because i read the previous article a few weeks back ;)
    http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/11/18/googles-chris-dibona-lashes-out-on-mobile-antivirus-developers-calls-them-charlatans-and-scammers/

  • albyone

    I have been using Avast. I used Theft aware and now Avast .bought them out. If you're rooted, this app is a must-have

  • Rob

    There's not enough viruses about yet to need antivirus. I hate to be "that guy" but my common sense is my antivirus for now.

  • Mike Trieu

    Yeah, Avast is where it's at, if only for the anti-theft features. Anti-virus is just the icing on the cake.

  • fins71

    AntiVirus apps are as useless as task killers. My 3d has phone finder on it which I keep turned off. If I don't have my phone then someone took it off my person. If that's the case, finding my phone would be the least of my problems.

  • NuLL.n.VoiD

    Relying on "common sense" to keep you from getting a virus on you phone defies any common sense. Malware authors are getting better at concealing their method of delivery every day. The malware is coming from more than just nefarious sites. Just hoping that you can avoid it by not doing something stupid is just the stupidity that eventually leads bad things happening.

    In the past, anti-virus apps bogged the older phones down but they have made great strides in making them faster and more efficient. There's really no excuse not to have it.

  • http://mgamerzproductions.com Mgamerz

    I rely most times on common sense but I installed avast anyways and don't see much of a slow down or resource drain. I did find out recently that I didn't have the official teamviewer app installed, instead I had one by someone else... strange that I did not notice it. I suppose Avast will be useful i I lapse on my crowd source review checking.

  • RCK

    AVAST ofc but only the anti theft part. I ve deactifated the useless antivir part of the app! Only eats ressources and if you open only trusted apps then you are good to go!

  • Edd

    No, no, no, I don't believe in them, and Im almost the same on my PC!

  • Mark

    Anti-virus apps are just fear mongering nonsense.

  • http://www.unwiredmedic.com Christopher Matthews

    Sadly, the results I see are consistent with home PC users as well. It's no wonder viruses are so proliferative in computing :-(

  • Bill

    Do they use up more battery? Seems like they are always running and would lead to more battery drain?

  • Chris

    Viruses don't effect Android phones. Anti virus are NOT required. I have tested this many times by intentionally adding virus infected files on to SD card and opened in my phone.

    Anti virus is one app you don't ever need. There a very few malware around which may effect but Anti virus for phones don't detect a sneeze.

  • skitchbeatz

    waste of RAM and space.

    • http://twitter.com/shamus_carter james kendall

      amen. in short all virus's on android are nothing more then Trojans apps that look legit but have nasty features. If you want to stay safe read the prem's and use your brain not a portliness wast of your ram.

  • Timothy Roberts

    I use Avast, its bundled with so many other features for free, why wouldn't you use it!

  • Freak4Dell

    My common sense is running all the time in my head anyway, so why bother wasting resources and battery on my devices by running an antivirus app?

    Then again, I do run apps that will locate the device if lost, so I guess if you classify those as antivirus apps, I do run them.

  • Tyler Walles

    i have no need for an anti virus app i only use like five apps anyway and they are mostly the preinstalled google ones... and i dont understand the need to have antitheft remote wipe for my phone.... its ALWAYS on me... and if my phone gets stolen from out of my pocket ive got bigger problems then a missing phone

  • sriracha

    i use avast! on my PC, have for a long time. i put it on my phone as soon as it was available. i'm not scared of viruses, but avast will scan apps when installed. not sure how well it works because i do use common sense when installing apps and i do a little research before trying that uber cool freebie. what keeps avast! installed on my phone is quite simple: privacy adviser shows me which apps have which permissions, sms and call filter (saves the install of another app), firewall settings (also saves the install of another app), and anti-theft (for obvious reasons).

    hands down, the complete package.

  • CrazyAndro

    I use an antivirus bt do not expect it to detect / clean viruses. I mainly use it for the track down features and the emoe controllability of my phone that it offers

  • http://www.grantbarker.com Grant Barker

    I've tried a few for my page here.. http://grantbarker.com/android_security_apps.html

    To be honest, although some mobile security apps seem to be pretty cool, I'm not interested in using one on a full-time basis.

    (I do use security on my pc though.)

  • Havoc70

    Yep i use Lookout, for the AV and the remote wipe feature. Anyone who thinks Android cant get a virus or malware is seriously misinformed.

  • Adam

    I use Cerberus. It's really a no bullshit app that gets the job done. Though it IS only for Anti-Theft/Tracking and not AV.

    Complete lockdown, remote internal wipe, remote audio recording, take pictures remotely, wipe SD, display messages across screen, sound alarms, SIM warnings...so good.

  • http://www.marklaflamme.com Mark LaFlamme

    Ditto Cerebus. Unbelievable theft/loss protection. For me, that's all. No AV or task killers.