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is necessary to install antivirus for Android?

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We are often asked whether antivirus apps for Android are necessary, and for good reason. Apple has tried hard to discredit Android as a virus-infested swamp of malware and there have been several high-profile Android security threats. Android has a tarnished reputation for security and viruses. But is this justified? Would Android users benefit from antivirus apps? 

Not according to Android security chief Adrian Ludwig. Just prior to the Google I/O developer conference earlier this year, Ludwig told reporters: "Do I think the average user on Android needs to install [antivirus apps]? Absolutely not. I don’t think 99 percent plus of users get a benefit from [anti-virus apps]." 

Ludwig also claimed that the threat posed by Android malware has been "overstated".

So where does this leave us? If the chief security engineer for Android says it ain't a problem, suggesting antivirus companies are just trying to sell their products, then should we be concerned? Maybe. Security companies and antivirus app developers would respond by saying Google is simply trying to downplay the flaws in its own Play Store. But let's back up a step.

 

What is Android viruses?

A virus is a type of malicious software (malware) program, the likes of which have been infecting our PCs for decades. As the Android platform has developed and became more widely used, so too has the number of potential threats to the system. Viruses don't actually infect Android, because they don't self-replicate, but the term gets used nonetheless.
Security reports – usually from antivirus and security companies – regularly tell us that the threats are on the rise. Whether you believe these reports or, like Ludwig, think they're simply trying to scare you into installing an app, it's a good idea to know as much as you can about Android viruses and where they come from.