Android AV apps don't work

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Have you been considering getting yourself an antivirus app for your smartphone lately? Once a user downloads the app, the malware will hijack the device and show advertisements to enrich the makers.

If you are using Aptoide, you can choose from a wide range of 30.000 apps, even offering you some that Google Play Store does not because those apps might violate the policies of Google. You can check out the list of all the 250 apps tested at the results page.

Two-thirds of all Android antivirus apps are useless and fail to detect malware, according to an expert study by an Austrian organization that is specialized in testing antivirus products.

The Google Play Store is one of those apps we take for granted, mostly because it simply works as a mediator between the user and his or her precious apps. "Similarly, the number of downloads can only be a very rough guide; a successful scam app may be downloaded many times before it is found to be a scam".

"The main goal of these apps seems to be generating easy revenue for their developers, rather than protecting their users".

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Each of the over 200 applications spotted by researchers has since been removed from the Google Play Store via Google's policies but some of those were extremely popular. As of May 1, new apps submitted to the Google Play Store will not be accepted if they don't follow the new icon guidelines. With Android Q, those apps would have to present themselves as keyboards, something that isn't entirely convenient for both users and developers. They essentially installed the apps on an Android device and then automated the process to open a browser and download a malicious app to install it on the device.

Instead of using an emulator, as pointed out by ZDNet, the researchers manually tested each of the 250 apps they've selected for the study.

One of the biggest changes Google has made to Android's privacy is that Android Q will now offer better location settings for apps.

"First of all, you need to at least try to see if the apps have real usage, if the apps have been rated and if the provider of the apps is trustworthy", Cipot said. The update about the affected apps revealed that they were mostly a shooter and racing games.

Other security apps only seemed to be using black-and-white lists for virus detection. While some Android fans might be disappointed to find out that the new update doesn't come with any new and exciting features, they should know that software tweaks are equally important.

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