Author Topic: Android antimalware apps  (Read 941 times)

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Offline Jason

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Android antimalware apps
« on: January 27, 2020, 10:25:25 am »
Does anyone use an antimalware/antivirus app on their android phone?

I was doing some quick research and it looks like Norton Security is considered the best with 100% of malware detected. I used to think android security wasn't a big deal but all the news over the last couple of years about nefarious Android apps, I think it's pretty important now. Norton's app also has a free version that has what most users need. Here are the articles I looked at:

https://www.techradar.com/uk/best/best-android-antivirus-app

https://fossbytes.com/best-android-antivirus-apps/

https://www.tomsguide.com/best-picks/best-android-antivirus

I'm going to give Norton a try right now.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline ssfc72

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Re: Android antimalware apps
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2020, 03:34:42 am »
I don't have any antivirus/antimalware app on any of my phones. I will be interested in hearing about how the Norton antivirus app works on your phone, Jason.
I should run one of those apps on my phone, just to check for anything but I would then delete the app after the phone was scanned. I don't like having too many apps on my phones which might slow down performance and such the battery life from the phone. :-)
Mint 19.1 on a Dell 14" Inspiron notebook, HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook (Linux Lubuntu), Dell 13" XPS notebook computer (MX Linux)
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Offline Jason

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Re: Android antimalware apps
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2020, 04:59:41 am »
I thought Norton Mobile Security was free, one of the articles mentioned this. But if it is, I can't figure out how to activate the free mode. Once installed, you have to create an account and then sign in with it. Once signed in, it asks you if you'd like to sign up for a (paid) subscription. I thought it was just an ad for their subscription service with more features but the only way to proceed is to buy it or click the x button in the top-right, which is why I thought it was just an ad. Click that button and you're left back at the original sign-in button. So I guess it's not free anymore.

Anyway, regarding your post, although I like to keep as few apps running as possible, too, doing a scan and then removing an AV app defeats the purpose. You don't want to remove malware or a virus after it's already on your system, you want to prevent it from getting there. We both know some of the nasty stuff the antimalware does, not just to itself but to other apps, collecting sign-ins and such from them. However, Bitdefender looks like it will do what you want in terms of battery life. From the first article (it's #2):

Quote
Update: See post below - it actually does run in the background but it might still only scan apps when they're installed instead of checking those in memory all the time.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 05:08:51 am by Jason Wallwork »
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline Jason

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Re: Android antimalware apps
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2020, 05:07:18 am »
Okay, just installed Bitdefender and it was super easy, no sign-in necessary or account creation. Tap one button to scan your apps and there's a toggle to scan storage, too. Scanned all my apps in less than a minute (I didn't actually time it).

But the article was wrong about it not sitting in the background. It does. Bitdefender's website claims it's light on battery use but I'll use it for a while and let you know.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 05:09:07 am by Jason Wallwork »
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline ssfc72

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Re: Android antimalware apps
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2020, 09:50:06 am »
Thanks for the info Jason.  I take it that no malware/virus was found on your phone?
If so, that is good that after all the time you have had the phone, that nothing was found.  It would also encourage me to just scan my phone and then force close or delete the app, until I would want to do a scan about say every month.
Mint 19.1 on a Dell 14" Inspiron notebook, HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook (Linux Lubuntu), Dell 13" XPS notebook computer (MX Linux)
Cellphone ZTE Axon 7 Mini, PCMobile pay as you go

Offline Jason

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Re: Android antimalware apps
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2020, 10:00:12 am »
Thanks for the info Jason.  I take it that no malware/virus was found on your phone?If so, that is good that after all the time you have had the phone, that nothing was found.  It would also encourage me to just scan my phone and then force close or delete the app, until I would want to do a scan about say every month.

There was one, but it was an app that I side-loaded from a training course so I think it was a false positive. I don't need it right now so I removed it anyway.
I haven't used the phone as is for the time I've had it (about 2 1/2 years. I think I've reset it at least 2 or 3 times in that period. Sometimes I just like a clean slate, you know? Same reason I'll sometimes just reinstall Linux, for that fresh out of the bath feel. :)

Regarding power usage, I've used my phone for nothing other than one 10-minute phone call in the last 2 hours (since the full charge). The battery is down 2% and 1% of that is from having the screen on. It suggests I have 4 days left at this rate. I also have LastPass and KDE Connect running in the background. I seem to recall you having issues already with short battery life on your phone so I can understand why you might be concerned.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 10:04:44 am by Jason Wallwork »
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline Jason

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Re: Android antimalware apps
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2020, 07:55:45 am »
Here's an update on power usage:

I've gone 23 hours and 20 minutes since the last full charge.  I've gone down 28% in this period, granted, I've only used the phone for a total of 43 minutes (screen time).

Bitdefender doesn't appear in the top 5 apps for power usage, the lowest being 1%. PIA is a pig, having used 22% of that 28%. So let's say Bitdefender used 1% since it can't be higher. That's 1% of the 28% drop. Relatively speaking, that means it makes up about ~4% relatively of the entire drain of the phone. So yeah, I think it's pretty light on resources.

Btw, PIA probably uses a lot because of its very nature. It has to ready for when an internet connection is available if, like most people, your phone is set to turn wireless off when you haven't used it for a few minutes (other than for updates). I would expect that means it's constantly polling, maybe every second to see if the phone is connected to the internet. But I don't really know.

Keep in mind that these percentages are relative to total battery loss as a proportion that varies depending on what you do on your phone. For example, if I played 3D games on my phone and watched videos, those apps would likely make up a much higher drain than PIA, so instead of being 22%, it might be 10% or less. Or it might not since it's more active. I'll have to try it out sometime.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata