You might be surprised to learn that Android is the world’s most popular operating system, surpassing even Windows. As a result, it is vulnerable to malicious attacks. But, if you have an Android phone, do you really need antivirus software?
That’s a reasonable question to pose. For many years, antivirus software has been recommended for Windows users. Thankfully, Microsoft has improved its malware-fighting tools—Windows has had an integrated antivirus since Windows 8—but what about Android? Let’s take a look at some of the ways Android keeps you safe.
Google Play Protect – Antivirus Inbuilt
Google Play Protect is Android’s most powerful built-in malware protection. Play Protect has a few different components, including the Find My Device tools, but malware scanning is a big part of it.
Play Protect is installed on every Android device that has access to the Google Play Store. You may have noticed the message “No Harmful Apps Found” at the top of the Play Store’s apps and games management section. Play Protect ensures the safety of the apps you download from the Play Store.
Play Protect, on the other hand, isn’t limited to the Play Store. It also keeps an eye on what happens outside the store. Play Protect scans apps that have been sideloaded from sources other than the Play Store. Although sideloading is still inherently riskier, it’s comforting to know that Play Protect is keeping an eye on things.
Play Protect can also protect you while browsing with Google Chrome, in addition to scanning apps. If you visit a site with malicious code, Chrome will warn you and redirect you back to safety, just like on Chrome for desktop.
Monthly Security Updates
Monthly security updates are another important feature that protects your Android device. These are minor updates that don’t usually include flashy new features, but they’re crucial.
New vulnerabilities and exploits are constantly being discovered. These things would pile up and become dangerous if your Android phone was only updated once a year. It’s critical to deal with these issues as they arise on a regular basis. That is why security updates are required on a monthly basis.
Unfortunately, not all Android devices get these updates on time or at all. Every month, Google releases security updates, and it’s up to its partners (Samsung, OnePlus, and others) to approve the fixes, add any additional fixes, and push them out to devices.
A Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy device is your best bet if you want the most secure Android phone. When it comes to keeping devices up to date with the latest patches, Google (unsurprisingly) and Samsung are the most dependable.