Do you need a security app for Android?
It’s not just on the desktop where operating systems are getting smarter about security. Historically, Android has been notoriously susceptible to malware, since its open design allows users to install even untrusted code.
In response to this, the current version of Android
(8, codenamed Oreo), introduced a new feature called Google Play Protect. This continuously scans your apps for vulnerabilities or known malware. Android’s app sandboxing model also keeps every application isolated, so that it can only access its own data. If it tries to load your contacts when it shouldn’t, or pull in your Instagram feed without your permission, it will be blocked.
There are still advantages to third-party security apps, however. Avast Mobile Security, Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus and AVG AntiVirus Free for Android – all of which can be downloaded free from Google Play – not only protect you from pop-ups, viruses and trojans, but also oer an “app lock” feature that prevents specified apps from launching unless a PIN is provided. This ensures that a thief can’t access your online banking apps, as well as blocking clever malware from making premium-rate phone calls or send pricey text messages.
And things will get even easier later this year with the next version of Android – currently known just as “Android P” – which promises to make a unified biometric interface available to all apps. This should allow you to authenticate specific operations with a fingerprint: eortless for you, impossible for criminals.