An antivirus app on your Android smartphone is two-thirds likely to be a bad idea

Have you been considering getting yourself an antivirus app for your smartphone lately?

Abandon those thoughts.

According to a new report, chances are, 2 out of the 3 apps you will be considering are far from offering you and your device any sort of meaningful “protection”. They’re just good posers preying on our vulnerability as humans to want assurance when it comes to security, just like the bad guys they purport to be keeping at bay.

138 “antimalware” applications from various developers who ply their wares on the Google Play Store, like Security Systems Lab, Immune Smart, Antivirus Mobile Lab, among others, were found to be less than 30% effective when it comes to doing what they claim to do: detecting malware.

Whereas some of these blacklisted apps are just posers doing nothing other than duping users and cashing in on their ignorance and vulnerability, others are outright dangerous as they even got flagged by other malware-detection apps. Others were found by the researchers at AV-Comparatives to have had their malware reference databases last updated ages ago, rendering them useless when it comes to detecting emerging threats.

If it is any consolation, many will be happy to know that most well-known security applications on the Play Store, particularly from the big players like NQ, MalwareBytes, Sophos, Avast, AVG, Panda, Comodo, IObit, McAfee, ESET, Kaspersky, heck, even Google itself (Google Play Protect), faired much better, managing to detect at least a third of the malware used in the tests conducted by the researchers.

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As a result of the research, Google has already swung into action and removed apps from 32 developers over the last 2 months.

Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at]