Android Antivirus

We're knee deep in Nest this week as we've begun taking more focused looks at specific topics. And we're not slowing down. Coming up next we're going to dive into a subject that, to be perfectly honest, we've tried to avoid over the years.

That would be Android and viruses. Or, rather, Android and antivirus apps. This is a real gray area. Viruses are real on Android. Make no mistake about that. These are full-fledged computers in our pockets and on our wrists. They're powerful, and very much within a user's control to do some hackery, both for good and for evil. And so we've generally taken a "Yes, but ..." approach when it comes to the scary stories of the latest Android malware that's wreaking havoc across a number of devices in a faraway land.

Because a good bit of the time you're talking about a relatively small number of infected devices — remember that more than a million Android devices are activated every day — and there are any number of safeguards in place that usually have to be bypassed first. And more often than not, these stories originate from companies that ultimately want to sell you something. That's important to remember.

Android viruses are very real. But so is the scaremongering. We'll help you sort out what's what.

So we're going to talk about Android and viruses and malware. We're going to talk about whether you really need to be worried about it. And what you can do to avoid it. (Hint: It's almost always easier to keep clean than you think.) And what to do if you think your phone has been infected. And we're going to take a look at some of the more popular Android antivirus apps out there. Because even if you're not at all worried about viruses and malware, these apps generally have other useful features (that, yes, they want you to pay for).

On the other hand, most of us here have managed to live a virus-free life without needing an anti-virus app on our phone. We'll let each of you decide that for yourselves. And that's the point of this upcoming series — to give you the tools you need to know. And we're going to learn from you, too. If you have questions, sound off in the comments. If there's something you want us to take a better look at, let us know.

And to keep up with it all, be sure to check back regularly at our Android Antivirus page.