Do you need antivirus for your phone?
In this day and age you probably need some kind of antivirus to protect your computers from nasty malwares and viruses, that can potentially cause a lot of damage. However do you do need antivirus on your phone? The first thing that you need to understand about viruses and why some platforms have them more compared to others, is because those platforms are more widely used across the world.
Take for example Microsoft’s Windows. Many people rely on windows to power their computers and most of the world’s population which own a computer have windows installed on it , rather than some other type of software like linux. Virus creators would benefit more if their virus affected more number of devices and so they create more viruses for platforms which are generally used more. Mac is another popular platform however it being rather expensive, relatively, less people tend to buy them. Other than that since there are only several kinds of computers that can run MacOS , and those are managed directly by Apple, Apple can do a pretty good job at keeping their software safe by implementing security measure throughout their line of computers.
Now lets move onto the question at hand. Almost everyone in the world owns some kind of smartphone these days and most of them are divided between Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS and like computers most of the people use android rather than iOS which runs on iPhones. Mobile devices, however, work a little differently from computers in the sense that on computers , you can pretty download an application from anywhere on the web. This is obviously not safe as many sites out there are full of malware and viruses. On computers, you can also get affected by viruses through email. That is not the case with mobile devices however. You can only install apps from a limited number of sources, at least on iOS. Apple has a very strict policy on which app they approve on their appstore and given that you cannot download an app outside of the Apple appstore, this leaves no room for any virus creeping into your iOS running device. Android also has a pretty safe marketplace, namely the Google playstore, however Google can be a bit lenient sometimes as compared to Apple. Thus they may not detect an app with a virus until later on but till then the damage may already have been done.
Other than the Google playstore you can download apps from several third party sites which have .apk files on them. These are the android applications you would normally find on the Google Playstore but people have uploaded the base .apk file to random sites. Now most third party sites should not be trusted as many have integrated malware and viruses into these .apk files and when a user downloads and installs them (thus giving the app permissions to use several regions of the phone) some damage can be done. Therefore you should try never to download apps from outside the Playstore but if you are then i would recommend you to use an anti-virus software. Most of the times however, you wont need the antivirus software as viruses on mobile phones are very unlikely, and so you may have noticed that antivirus apps on the playstore have several other features as well as their virus scanning feature. For example they may have a device cleaning feature or a RAM cleaning one. This is because they know that viruses on android devices are pretty unlikely and are not a cause of worry unless your phone is the target of a hacker.