Do you need a se­cu­rity app for An­droid?

PC & Tech Authority - - FEATURE ANTIVIRUS -

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 o‡er 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: e‡or­t­less for you, im­pos­si­ble for criminals.

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