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2 min read 5 comments

Study: Most Free Anti-Virus Apps for Android Don't Actually Work

According to a study by AV Test, many of the most popular anti-virus apps for Android don't actually work. In fact, only one of the seven apps tested seem to actually prevent malicious files from being installed on your Android. The study tested both how well the Anti-virus app scanned new apps and how well they scanned existing files for viruses.

In the first test, ten widely-distributed malicious APKs were installed, and the apps were tested on their ability to scan these files to find the malware. According to the results, only one app, Zoner AntiVirus Free, recognized over a third of the malicious files. All the other scanners dected, at best, 10% of the malware. A few didn't detect anything at all.

Another test measured how well the program was able to spot malicious apps before they were installed. In this test, only Zoner AntiVirus Free was able to detect 8 out of 10 samples during the installation attempts. BluePoint Anti-Virus Free, Kinetoo Malware Scan and Privateer Lite warned against one malicious app while Antivirus Free by Creative Apps, GuardX Antivirus and LabMSF Antivirus Beta failed completely. 

Many folks trust these apps to protect them against viruses: AntiVirus Free by Creative Apps, for example, has been downloaded between one and five million times. However, the only useful free app for detecting viruses appears to be Zoner AntiVirus Free.

...All the rest are rubbish


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Source: AV Test


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  • @Brian That's why all our articles are sourced. At the bottom of the article is a source link that will lead you to the report we used as our main research tool. It has the basic figures complied by security experts... that should at least be a good start for you if you are interested in finding out more.

  • red Nov 14, 2011 Link to comment

    Thank you Steven for this. We need to know more about combatting the low life that can attack us and what we can do about it. Just the other day, I wanted to install a notepad program that had just what I was looking for, but didn't because it was too new and I got scared. Security is most important on any device.

  • Why wasn't Lookout Security & Antivirus mentioned in the article? I would like to see some actual numbers to back up this info.

  • Even the best Email prgram wont help your if you download something you shouldn't have or install a program from a bad 3rd party app store. Healty common sense is still the best defense in any situation.

  • How do you get viruses on your phone anyway? Through email? Are there like any good email programs that help you stop getting spam and spy ware?

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