It’s normal for people to care for their smartphone as these are expensive and may contain many important data. And it’s normal for many people to install Antivirus app on their phone. However, there are many people who don’t recommend installing antivirus on smartphone as well. So, who is right? Is it really a good idea to install Antivirus on your smartphone or it can cause issues? These are the questions which I’m going to answer in this article.
There are many features provided by these antivirus apps and some seems to be actually useful.
In case of iOS, there is no antivirus program available. And you shouldn’t look for one either. There are security apps from those antivirus companies which do not protect against viruses, because you don’t need it. If you’re an iOS user then you seriously don’t need to install any of these apps. You’re safe without having those features.
For Android users, there are many more features including virus and malware protection. If you’re an Android user then you should read the whole article to understand whether it’s fine for you to use an antivirus or it’s useless.
Smartphone Antivirus: Is it really useful or necessary?
There are various advantages and disadvantages of antivirus on Android. As I said above, if you’re an iOS user, you don’t need it. This section is basically only for Android users.
I’ll begin with the advantages of antivirus and then the disadvantages. It’ll make your decision easier whether to keep it or uninstall.
Advantages of Smartphone Antivirus Apps:
#1 Malware Protections: It’s really helpful for some people. There are some kinds of malware, adware and so on for Android smartphones as well.
It’s common for people to infect their smartphone with these when the people are careless and love to use pirated apps. There are websites which provide infected apps in the name of popular apps and once the user install it on their device, it usually takes the administrative permission and doesn’t let the user uninstall it.
Also, some time these apps hide behind the name and icon of some trusted apps, making it harder for users to find and uninstall it. In such cases, antivirus apps like MalwareByte can actually be helpful. It will scan your system for such app and will actually help you remove it.
There can be some which are not detectable by these apps but the developers keep updating their database and you can expect them to detect it soon.
Antivirus apps can also provide live protection from such apps and warn you before you install such apps. However, I would recommend you to be extra careful with the apps you’re sideloading on your device.
It’s never a good idea to install apps from unknown sources. Try to support the developers who work hard to provide great apps and services to you and stop using pirated apps.
If your device is already infected with such malware then simply scan your device with any app like MalwareByte and remove the infected app. It will be fine to uninstall the app after you’re done.
#2 Anti-Theft: Well, if your device is Google-certified (like typical Android phones) then there is no need of it. You can easily use Google Find My Device to track your device (if it’s connected to the Internet and have Location access).
However, it’s common for Android phones released in China to not have Google services. And there are some brands who don’t have certification from Google to release their device with Google services, such as Huawei.
So, in case your device do not have Google Services, antivirus app with Anti-Theft can actually be helpful for you. Just keep in mind, many of them use Google Play services to find your device, so you just have to find the one which doesn’t do that.
#3 Clear Junks: If you’re someone who have been using the same phone without performing factory reset even once with a lot of apps for many years then there must be a lot of cache and useless data on your device.
There are many apps available to clear these kind of junk and you can do it yourself as well. However, you can also use this app to clear the junk files without installing additional apps or manually doing it (which is kinda easy, by the way).
Disadvantages of Smartphone Antivirus Apps:
There are some disadvantages of having Antivirus apps installed on your smartphone as well. And you might end up thinking, why do I even keep it?
#1 Antivirus: Okay, so it’s an antivirus and its job is to protect the phone from viruses. However, the so-called viruses cannot infect your device unless you install them yourself. Just be extra careful while downloading and installing apps. You should also download apps from trusted websites, mainly from the Play Store itself.
I know that it can be useful at times when your device is already infected. However, once you’re done cleaning the mess you downloaded, just uninstall the app. And just be careful next time!
So, basically, if you’re careful, there is just no need for it. And there can be many kinds of malwares which these apps cannot detect as well. So, if you’re going to continue download apps from unknown sources and have faith in the antivirus then you’ll be making a big mistake.
#2 Extra Load: It’s basically an extra load on your smartphone. It will be the worst idea to install antivirus on a mid-range or low-end phone. These kinds of apps remain active in the background and this can actually result in slow-down of your device.
If you’re mobile gamer then it can actually affect your experience while playing high-graphics games, such as PUBG Mobile.
As I said that it remains active in the background and continuously uses some resources, it will also result in extra battery drain even in stand-by mode.
So, you should not think that it’s providing some extra layer of security without affecting your experience.
#3 Useless Features: Antivirus apps comes with some eye-catching features alongside being antivirus, to make you install the app.
You might not even know that Android phones actually have inbuilt location tracking feature which uses Google Play services. You can even lock or format your device or ring the phone in full volume. So, there is no need of anti-theft protection.
These apps also provide VPN for secure browsing experience. However, most of them ask you to pay for it. It’ll be way better idea to pay for an app which actually focuses on VPN services for best experience.
And then there are features like web protection (which you even get from Google Chrome) and then some useless features like RAM cleaner, Junk cleaner etc. which can actually slow down your device for some time.
So, basically, it is also using some extra space on your storage space for sake of some useless features.
I would say, you don’t need to install Antivirus programs on your smartphone. If it’s iOS then there is just no need at all and if it’s Android then you might need it only in some rare occasions when you install malware YOURSELF. So, just try to be careful while sideloading apps and you won’t need antivirus ever.