AV-TEST, a German independent institute focused on IT security, has updated its list of the best antivirus apps for Android.
AV-TEST tested dozens of mobile security solutions from the best security software vendors, providing them six points for protection and usability, and one point for their features. The lab also tested Play Protect, the security solution Google uses on Google Play, its official app store.
Most antivirus apps for Android yielded great results with real-time malware detection averaging around 98%. Half of the apps got the maximum 13-point score, including big vendors’ solutions like Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, McAfee Mobile Security, G DATA Internet Security, Avast Mobile Security, and some other solutions that you can see on the list.
Google Play Protect (we can consider it a basic protection service similar to Windows’ built-in Windows Defender) did not perform as well as third-party products, with just 56.8% detection in the real-world test and 61.5% detection on the reference set.
“Google endeavors to increase the security for all Android users with constant scanning of the Play Store and automatic examination of each mobile device using Google Play Protect. However, the current test scores of Google Play Protect recommend the use of a third-party security solution,” AV-TEST explains.
Do you use an antivirus for Android?
A lot of users use anti-malware software on their PCs (especially on Windows systems), but few of them do the same on their mobile devices despite the fact that smartphones and tablets outsell PCs.
It seems there is a lower perceived risk when it comes to mobile devices. Some users forgo protection despite the fact that malware aimed at phones is as dangerous and numerous as malware aimed at PCs. Malware threats are even hidden in Google’s official store despite the company’s efforts.
Just like it happens with the Windows desktop (leaving each system’s intrinsic security aside), malware creators target the system with the largest market share, and Android is by far said system.
However, Google engineers think that risk levels for Android are being exaggerated, stating that most users do not need an antivirus because Android is a quite secure system. So, there are hardly any risks if users only install apps through the official store, Google Play.
Security has certainly been one of the elements with the most improvements in Android Oreo, the system’s latest version. But is it enough? Is the number of Android users affected by malware as small as Google claims? Do you think it is necessary to use an antivirus?