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Two-thirds of Android antivirus apps offer NO protection, study warns

Mirror logo Mirror 18/03/2019 Shivali Best
A logo for Google Inc.'s Android operating system is displayed on an advertising sign during the Apps World Multi-Platform Developer Show in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Retail sales of Internet-connected wearable devices, including watches and eyeglasses, will reach $19 billion by 2018, compared with $1.4 billion this year, Juniper Research said in an Oct. 15 report. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images © Bloomberg A logo for Google Inc.'s Android operating system is displayed on an advertising sign during the Apps World Multi-Platform Developer Show in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Retail sales of Internet-connected wearable devices, including watches and eyeglasses, will reach $19 billion by 2018, compared with $1.4 billion this year, Juniper Research said in an Oct. 15 report. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If you’ve downloaded an anti-virus app on your Android smartphone, you might think that your device is protected.

But a worrying new study has revealed that as many as two-thirds of antivirus apps actually offer no protection to users.

AV-Comparatives has tested 250 Android apps, and found the majority to be dubious, unsafe or ineffective.

In the study, the researchers put the apps to the test against 2,000 common threats.

Worryingly, less than 1 in 10 of the apps were found to defend against all 2,000 threats, while two-thirds failed to block even 30% of them.

a close up of a device: Hands at computer © Getty Images/Cultura RF Hands at computer

Andreas Clementi, CEO of AV-Comparatives, said: “Although the number of Android security apps on the market has increased since last year, our test shows that a smaller proportion of the available apps will actually provide effective protection.

“Last year, a third of the security apps we tested failed to detect even 30% of malicious samples; this year, that proportion rose to over two thirds”

The researchers hope their findings will urge consumers to be more wary about the apps they download.

Mr Clementi added: “User ratings in the Google Play Store might show that a security app is easy to use.

“However, without independent testing, users cannot be sure if its detections are genuine, or whether it has given a clean bill of health to a malicious program.

“Our test report lets you know which programs will protect your Android device, without false alarms.”

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