Does my FP2 need Anti Virus software and if so, how?

I’ve got ESET NOD32 Anti virus running on my old laptop and just started getting emails on my FP2, my first smartphone… Big thought! ‘Hey, can smartphones get viruses?’ I guess Yes! So how do I install Anti-Virus software on my FP2?


there are differing opinions about that. :wink:
Personally I don’t think that anti-virus is required on smartphones at this point in time. Most anti virus products seem to have questionable benefits - especially the “free” ones. This ranges from not doing anything at all up to actually stealing all your data by themselves or just having huge security problems of their own.
The single most important thing you can do is to install the FPOS updates every time they come out. They almost always contain security fixes.
Also, don’t allow installation of apps from “unknown sources”.
Otherwise you should be catuious about ads in apps or on web pages that suggest that there is a problem with your phone, battery, sd card or someting like that. They are at best scams and at worst try to install a virus on your phone.


You can allow installation of apps from “unknown sources” if the source is for instance F-Droid.
But you have to know what you are doing. And of course I turn allow off after installing something from F-Droid.

Yes, I do! Running free CM-Security Antivirus 2.8 from Cheetah-Mobile on FP2.

From Cheetah Mobile?! That isn’t exactly a company I would trust. See here:

Your finger-pointing into the depth of the internet controverse journalism doesnot help or answer the original question. Good to know that this is only your personal point of view about a specific product due to your exclamation. Feel free to give your own contribution … if you can.

Yes, just my personal opionion and my personal warning, that maybe you set a fox to keep the geese…
I think it’s an example of this:

What you say is only “maybe …” . Sure is only for the moment you don’t have an own proposal .

My own proposal? Use the common sense instead of an antivirus program that may cause even worse problems. Not so long ago, I read an interesting article about that topic, that said more or less what @mde pointed out above. I’m searching for it, but right now I’m no able to find it…


I found the article. It’s Stiftung Warentest 2/2016. Here’s the online version, but unfortunately it’s not for free.
@anon9505190 CM Security Antivirus Applock is rated “mangelhaft” (bad) because its “Datensendeverhalten” (how and which data is send) is “sehr kritisch” (very critical).
In the article they rate as “good” the paid versions of Eset, Avast, Norton, Kapersky and McAfee.


Good to know that a moderator at FP2 has such an extraordinary common sense that even replaces anti virus software :wink: maybe it is also common sense at the beginning of the topic let some people think that this kind of software works for free without a hidden expense.

That’s my answer too. You don’t get a virus from blue sky and boom, it’s there and destroys your phone. Normaly you get the virus or a link in a mail and you are at least one click away from infection. Do not click if you are not certain what it is. This is by far the better virus protection. And this goes with everything, every app, every source. In the beginning this decision is difficult but you will gain more knowledge with time.

Example: It’s a good advice to not allow install from unknown sources, but a lot of people with knowledge and caution have tried this source and we can asure you, that this source is known and you may install everything from there.


To follow more your question than to follow the chorus of the clean league here I wanted to add another piece of software to CM-Security: AFWall+ prevents any app to send anything out of your FP2 unless you enable specific apps to do so. Maybe I can also repell a bit the reproach I would "set a fox to keep the geese " . Comparing the advertising of CM-Sec with viruses rather sounds to me like “throughing out the baby with the bath” :wink:

I would suggest “Bitdefender Antivirus free” since it

  1. is free
  2. does not have the permissions to steal all data by itself
  3. automatically checks new installed apps on contained viruses.

If you are concerned about privacy too, I would recommend installing “SRT AppGuard”. You can download it at Make sure you checked “unknown sources” in Security settings. With Appguard you can controll and remove permissions from other apps (e.g. the contact permission of the Facebook-app).

Well the question really is: What is your threat model? Are you afraid of a virus reading your personal contacts or of it destroying your phone?
To my knowledge the most common purpose of android “viruses” is to steal your personal data. Now, as @Irina_Spitznagel pointed out, I would not trust a free Anti Virus from China that also seems to use questionable advertizing practices to have access to my phone. It is not unreasonable to assume that this app already does what you want to protect yourself from.

If you really think you should have a virus scanner on android, then you should probably choose something from a respected company (opinions on who that might be also vary greatly) and you might also have to pay something for it.

Concering the use of AFWall+: This can be a good option to prevent some apps from sending stuff to the internet. But using this on any virus scanner is highly unproductive as it will likely prevent signature updates and thus make the scanner entirely useless.

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I don’t want to enter in a “yes-no” discussion about anti-viruses, given my point of view is near to the ones of @mde, @Irina_Spitznagel and @Spielmops.
One point that should be noted is if you have been infected by a virus, and if it has root access, you can’t prevent it from sending your data away with AFWall+ because the only thing it does is modifying iptables rules in order to block networking to applications, but by having root permission you can override this and add your iptables rules to the chains.
This applies also to anti-virus apps!
I use AFWall+ because I find it useful but the best anti-virus is user behavior not another (free but closed source…) app with root permissions :wink:
Bye! :slight_smile:

Thanks for keeping up the discussion and also for asking me serious questions. What I don’t like are hints for denouncing a product by denouncing the company. CM-security was rated as one of the best continously. If several people here don’t think they need anti-virus software anyway it is nonsense or sense-free to discuss further more about anti-virusses products or companies.

However I am not sure if the postings here really answer to the important first question of the opener.

You ask me about my concerns or why I use anti-virus software in general. The worst case over last half year was the blackmailer trojaner who encrypted disks and pressed money. But I guess it was not an issue with smartphones. To honestly answer your question I am afraid of manipulation of files and app structures in operation rather more than if attackers only reads or steal any data with one exception: The passwords in my password vault. Because it is a vault with two factor DB-PW extra secured clipboad and special internal keyboard I don’t really care (enough) about any kind of read-only virusses. It is a pity I was not asked if I fullfill the rules of behaviour.
However even though I am not sure if this is sufficient or enough. The difference between the “clean-league” and me is they think it is sufficient ot stay clean. Sorry, I am not convinced.

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