I was speaking to a friend last week who is coming to the end of their mobile phone contract. They currently use a Blackberry but wanted to upgrade to either an iPhone or Android but were unsure which way to go. My personal choice is Android as I like the interface and “freedom” of the operating system but when I suggested this I was met with “but what about security and viruses?”.
Android has a nasty reputation for being insecure. Yes there is malware that can run on it but ask yourself this, do you actually know of anyone who has ever got malware on either an Android tablet or phone? The answer is probably no and there is a good reason for this. Google (and Apple) both do a good job of keeping malware out of their respective app stores. Unless you decide to root your phone or download an app from a website rather than the official store chances are very slim that you will ever encounter malware in any form.
As for the device itself you can use a pin to lock the screen and certain apps (eg Dropbox) allow you to lock the app itself. You can install antivirus if you so wish (I do as I tend to deal with documents that might be opened on a Windows PC). I run BitDefender Mobile Security on all my devices as you get the ability to track your device using GPS if you lose it and wipe if remotely if needs be.
Permissions is another issue altogether. Google is attempting to address this in its Android M update which should hopefully curb the permissions that developers require for their apps. If you get sleepless nights because “Big Brother” is watching you then you might be better off with an iPhone.
As with security in general the device is usually only as secure as the person who uses it. Use a common sense approach and you should be fine with Android.
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