No, you do not need antivirus on Android

fake antivirus
fake antivirus

Dernière mise à jour: 16 mai 2024

Adware, ransomware, locker… Android is certainly not immune to malicious attacks. There are many antivirus solutions on the Play Store, but are they really necessary? Is it essential to install an antivirus Android ? What risks does a user run if they don't install one? Here is my analysis.

I know, we have always recommended that you make sure to install an antivirus on all your devices, mobile and desktop. I completely understand that this caution, or even a certain paranoia, has encouraged you to adopt antivirus software. However, at the end of this article, your perception of antivirus may well evolve.

First of all, know that pirates are often one step ahead. Malware is evolving at such a speed that many antivirus vendors are having difficulty keeping up. Le Phishing and zero-day flaws render traditional antivirus largely ineffective, while unnecessarily weighing down our phones.

Antiviruses have the effect of slowing down the system, consuming more resources and sometimes even being disastrous for thephone autonomy.

Personally, I have never used antivirus on my phone. Below Android, the term “virus” should be avoided. It's a myth !

You could retort: ​​“But Ahmed, I have already been the victim of a virus! »

To this, I will answer: A program that you install voluntarily, which tells you that it can send text messages (authorization displayed before installation), do you call this a virus?

The virus Android, a myth: here's why

The strategy of antivirus companies has often been to exploit users' ignorance, leading them to believe that they are in more danger than they really are.

But first, what is a virus?

Un virus Android is, in the collective imagination, a simple application whose main objective is to reproduce itself by contaminating other programs. However, Android prohibits such behavior because all applications operate in 'sandbox'.

The principle of sandboxing consists of almost completely isolate applications from each other. When Android executes an application, the latter restricts its actions to very specific tasks (memory access, access to sensors, etc.). This method allows you to protect the system as much as possible by preventing applications from operating in an anarchic manner.

Each application, in its 'bubble', has no information about the others and has no way of interacting with them.

Therefore, we cannot really speak of viruses in the system Android. However, antivirus publishers maintain the virus myth, inherited from the era Windows, to market their products.

Android already ensures good security without antivirus

Please note that your smartphone or tablet Android is based on a simplified version of Linux. This is an essential point to understand, because it means that Android inherently has antivirus functions. This arises from the secure nature of Linux, an operating system that provides robust protection to various segments of its infrastructure.

Indeed, Android deploys various security mechanisms. Then, these mechanisms are divided into different categories. Ultimately, each category operates at a distinct level.

The Application Sandbox: The First Layer of Security

The first security barrier in a phone Android is integrated at the operating system level. Phones, designed to accommodate a large number of applications, must have mechanisms to ensure that these installations do not pose a danger to the system, other applications or data (of the system, other applications or the user) .

If a virus succeeds in infiltrating a mobile device, it is imperative to limit the attack surface that the system offers as much as possible. Sandboxing, or sandboxing, implements this idea of ​​compartmentalizing different processes, preventing them from interacting and therefore harming each other.

App permissions: Fine control over actions

Every app you install on your phone Android must request your permission to carry out certain tasks.

When you download a new application, a pop-up window will appear informing you of the permissions requested by the application. Clicking on " Accept“, you validate these requests. In practice, this means that the applications' capabilities are strictly limited.

For example, unless an app has been given permission to send SMS messages, it will not be able to do so.

To effectively manage the permissions of your applications, I recommend this article: Clean up your application permissions Android.

Google Play Store: An additional security filter

All the applications offered on the Google Play Store are analyzed before their publication by an internal system which verifies the possible presence of malicious programs.

Additionally, the “ Verify Apps » is enabled by default on devices Android, providing additional protection against applications from other sources.

In this context, the question arises: is it really necessary to install an antivirus on Android ?

What antivirus companies are hiding Android

Antivirus companies sometimes compromise users' security, lulling them into a false sense of security and encouraging them to take risks.

Their primary purpose remains profitability. To achieve this goal, they deploy various strategies to gain your trust: fear of viruses, hacking on Facebook, sending Premium SMS, ads invasion, risks of laptop theft or data ...

Here are some sales techniques commonly used by these antivirus companies:

  • The publication of alarmist studies in specialized journals or blogs.
  • Systematically expressing the progression of virus counts in percentages, thus generating impressive statistics.
  • Avoiding counting the actual number of malware present on Android. Their limited number is not alarming enough.
  • Silence about the effectiveness of the antivirus itself. To recognize his performance would be to admit that the threat is almost non-existent.
  • The confusion between viruses, other malicious programs and intrusive advertising.

Protect yourself against threats Android : The key is you

I do not deny the possibility of contamination of your smartphone or tablet Android. However, I maintain that the chances of this contamination remain almost zero. Indeed, the number of doors through which a system Android can be infiltrated by a malicious application is limited to four main scenarios.

  • An application deceives the user by requesting permissions that are not necessary for its proper functioning (for example, sending premium SMS messages).
  • A user installs apps from unofficial sources, and these apps hide malicious code behind legitimate permissions. Note thatAndroid prohibits by default any installation outside the Play Store.
  • An application tricks the user into entering personal or sensitive data, such as a Credit Card Number.
  • The user's phone is rooted. With a rooted phone, all system security protections Android are disabled. However, root your phone is a daunting task, almost impossible for the average user.

As you can deduce, your best shield against these types of attacks is yourself. Antiviruses are powerless against these threats and cannot protect you in any way.

So what are these antivirus apps for? They basically serve to provide a false sense of security.

Conclusion

Finally, even if the risk of cyber attack exists, your attention is your best protection for your phone or tablet Android. Antiviruses, despite their great promises, are not the miracle solution.

Simple actions like checking app permissions, staying within system boundaries Android and avoiding installing apps from questionable sources are more effective in protecting your device.

I hope this article helped you understand that an antivirus is not necessary on Android. If you think this information is useful, please share it with your friends. The more informed we are, the safer we are. And do not forget : No, you do not need antivirus on Android !