Do any of us really need antivirus software on our Android phones and tablets?

In a past life I worked basic tech support at both Best Buy’s Geek Squad and Staples’ Easy Tech programs. I have heard every possible explanation for why a computer might have been infected with something, and happily collected a paycheck while fixing the same things over and over again. Most of the time, when someone asked me what antivirus software I used I would be perfectly honest with them and explain that I didn’t use any third-party software antivirus software on my Windows machine. I’d explain that I was very aware of where I was browsing and what I was clicking, and keeping my system up to date handled the rest. I didn’t recommend this experience to most, because computer viruses wouldn’t exist if their success rates were zero and there are absolutely people who need those tools, but it’s a strategy that has kept me safe so far.

Much like computers, you can’t go too far on the Internet without stumbling across an article trying to scare you into believing your Android device is under constant threat from the countless nasty things on the Internet today. Where things differ for the average user is just how far out of your way most folks have to go in order to be in any real danger on an Android device. But you wouldn’t know it by the sheer number of security and antivirus apps available to mobile devices today.

We get asked all the time whether our mobile devices need antivirus software, and while the answer isn’t as clear cut as we’d like it’s time to explain things as clearly as possible.




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