Why Viruses on Android Aren’t Really an Issue

It’s commonly suggested that Android has a “virus problem.” But, while there are viruses and malware on Android, it’s not really something you need to be concerned about—as long as you pay attention to what you’re doing.

Android is Inherently Secure

Android itself is a pretty secure operating system—a statement that has only gotten truer over the last few years. Right out of the box, all mainstream Android phones feature a locked bootloader to prevent access to the system partition. Optional “sideloading” of non-approved apps is also disabled by default.

Those two (unlocked bootloaders and sideloading apps) are by far the most common ways that people get malware on their Android devices, and both are blocked by default. The fact of the matter is that most of Android’s malware issues are only there because certain default security features have been disabled. Alas, that’s one of the primary things that sets Android apart from the competition. You’re free to do more of what you want with your handset, even if that means weakened security.

That said, Google has even made sideloading more secure with Android Oreo. Instead of this feature being a blanket setting that simply allows or disallows apps being installed from outside of the Play Store, it now works on an app-by-app basis. That means you can allow apps to be installed from something like the Amazon Appstore, but nothing else. It’s a smart way to handle this setting.

Put simply: if you never plan on unlocking the bootloader (which isn’t even possible on many phones) or sideloading apps, you’re as protected as you can be by the system alone.

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

I have a crazy passion for #music, #celebrity #news & #fashion! I'm always out and about on Twitter.
Sasha Harriet

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