AV on smartphone

can you guys tell me :
-is an AV needed on a smartphone? if so - which ones are best ?
**i saw : http://www.avg.com/nl-nl/antivirus-for-android

-do you have experience with one or more?
-is there a good - free one ?
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Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
Avasti Mobile is not bad.  Most AV's out there for mobile are not just an antivirus and include other garbage with it that the phone can already do which uses resources (examples are it will also backup your phone: yada yada yada).  I honestly have not yet found the need to put an antivirus on my smartphone as of yet.
Thomas Zucker-ScharffSolution GuideCommented:
Some say it is needed, some say not - I am one of the former.  There are plenty of free ones that work fine.  I like Trustgo from trustgo.com personally.  The other one you might want to look into is lookout.  Both are available on the play store.  IF your phone is rooted there are others that are better, like Xsecurity.
nobusAuthor Commented:
so one says, yes, other no
thomas, does both work on all smartphones?  Android etc? apple ?
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Thomas Zucker-ScharffSolution GuideCommented:
lookout is for android as is trustgo.  you can get viper/Kaspersky/f-secure all have multi platform offerings.  Check out www.pcadvisor.co.uk/reviews/security-software/31.
I think you've added the apple software zone by mistake.

You can look up comparisons online.

AV for android was previously next to worthless as suggested by the 2011 article in extremetech.  http://www.extremetech.com/computing/104827-android-antivirus-apps-are-useless-heres-what-to-do-instead/2   The reason it's worthless is that it's stuck in the same sandboxed environment as the rest of the apps that run.  Unless they have a way to escape the java sandbox, they have no access.  Unfortunately, with all the java security holes on older java, they've been able to do this now.

How willing are you to install random software?  If you like to download and install random junk, then you need antivirus.  If you're a careful person and only install from official sources or you don't ever install 3rd party software, you're not as likely to need antivirus.
Thomas Zucker-ScharffSolution GuideCommented:
Yes most apps are fine now.  Serialband, your caveat about installing software is advice well worth heeding, but it is the same advice that people who are thinking about rooting their phones should heed.  If you are willing to police yourself and are confident that what you download is okay - then root/don't install AV.  On the other hand if you aren't that way then don't root and install AV.  

In any case, with the KitKat on android phones, rooting is becoming more of a necessity due to SD card restrictions - too bad.
nobusAuthor Commented:
interesting points - i hope there's more to come, so we can make some kind of list

let's say we do NOT talk about rooted  ones what is your opinion then?
Thomas Zucker-ScharffSolution GuideCommented:
okay unrooted.

android is becoming less and less in need of AM/AV apps when they are becoming more able to do the task they were designed for.

Trustgo and lookout are still the best for android probably f-secure or Kaspersky for ios (not as familiar with ios apps).

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Whether rooted or not, that's not true anymore.  You are in more need of AM/AV now, more than ever.  You probably didn't need them at the onset.

You need rootkit detectors on Linux.  These should generally be included in Android scanners.  Standard Linux has separate Rootkit scanners from AV.  The AV stuff on Linux scans for Windows viruses, mainly on email servers, to remove them before it hits Windows users.  If you understand Linux, you could already scan for rootkits on your own, without someone else's scanner.

Since Android is actually a flavor of Linux, they definitely also have rootkits.  As a form of Linux, you can still make some of the same standard types of Linux attacks on it to access the operating system.  Unfortunately, they lock out users from the Linux interface unless you root them.  Android = crippled Linux java.

This also means that the rookkits are not removable by the average user.  I've seen this with the Home NAS units that people buy for small business.  They have their proprietary interfaces tacked onto Linux and you can't get to the standard Linux interface without some hacking, but that's what rootkits do.  I've had to hack into some of these NAS units myself to remove the rootkits that others have installed.

Proprietary interfaces on Linux without Linux access = crippled Linux = fundamentally insecure Linux.  It takes work to secure Linux.

Linux was never more secure than Windows.  They have fewer systems, so they have better admins because of a smaller Admin job pool with more competition for the job, meaning that Linux admins tend to be a bit more skilled.  Windows was just so numerous that there was such a large admin pool that there aren't enough skilled admins to fill the positions.  Some places have to resort to hiring clueless novice/amateur admins that mess things up and make windows insecure.  If anything, today's Windows is probably more secure out of the box with less work now, because of so many attacks on it and so many less capable admins managing them.  With such a large user base, it's also been more profitable to target Windows.  A good knowledgeable Windows admin can keep their back end server systems secure and virus free for the entire life of the equipment they run on.

The general public doesn't understand Operating Systems, nor should they, but I understand enough that I don't want these crippled OS for my phone.  I want full access, so I can fully diagnose the OS.  If work didn't require me to have a smartphone, I wouldn't be using one.  If it were mine, I would have already rooted it and put a full OS on it, so that I have control over it.  Since I don't, I just don't install and run the junk that most users would.  It's a bit of a waste of the compute power, but I don't want my phone hacked.  The telco already tracks me and has my data, I don't need other malicious 3rd parties doing the same and linking to my phone.
nobusAuthor Commented:
thanks for the info
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