I’m often asked, ‘Andy, should I install an antivirus app on my phone? My answer is – in short ‘no, it isn’t really necessary’. As the vast majority of users install their apps from the Google Play Store, there is in fact, very little chance that a malicious app could be installed on your device.
If however, you choose to install apps another way (and I won’t even tell you how to do it) – then yes, you would be wise to install a malware scanner of some kind. All the major vendors have free apps – Avast!, AVG etc that are fine.
Now, Microsoft Windows is another story. Yes, I know this is an Android blog – but I see a heck of a lot of seniors with badly infected computers every week and I always make one important recommendation to them. Malware is very present on web pages, email attachments and if you are still using Windows XP (please upgrade to a later version NOW!) you will have malware on your PC, I can almost guarantee this.
A mistake that people often make is to search for an anti-malware product. Please, please don’t do this! Ninety nine percent of the search results you see will be ads for stuff that will make your situation worse – believe me. I know of only a handful of good, real anti-malware products out there and the one I’ll tell you about below is the one I have been using for years.
An antivirus program is necessary for Windows computers, but I liken this to ‘the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’. It might be able to save you but it’s unlikely. What you want is ‘the gate at the top of the cliff’ to stop you getting infected in the first place, regardless of what the purveyors of the expensive security products tell you. My recommendation is to use MalwareBytes Premium – there’s a link to get this below. At just $25 a year (for up to 3 computers) it’s a bargain – I wouldn’t run any PC without this fantastic program these days, it has saved my bacon a few times already!
Please remember that the Premium MalwareBytes I recommend is only for Windows computers, not Android phones or tablets. If you are not familiar with downloading and installing software on a PC, I have written a tutorial on my other blog which has help for Windows users – here is the link to this. There is also a download link for the program on that page.
MalwareBytes have a free Android scanner app which works fine too and I’ve linked to this below, but in my opinion unless you are playing in the darker areas of the internet looking for pirated versions of free apps it isn’t really necessary.
Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for MalwareBytes and get a small fee for each sale, but I don’t recommend products that I don’t use myself.
Price : FREE
Size : 7.2Mb
Needs : Android 2.3+