An Android security suite is essential for people who take little care when visiting pages or downloading applications of dubious origin. The problem is the vast majority of antivirus programs that claim to protect the user from malware have turned out to be fraud.

According to a study published by AV-Comparatives, of 250 antivirus available in Google Play that were analyzed during the month of January, two thirds detected less than 30% of malware for Android, while others were removed from the Play Store for not meeting minimum privacy requirements and for monetizing abusive practices.

The study was conducted on Samsung Galaxy S9 terminals running Android 8.0 and Nexus 5 with Android 6.01. Using an automated environment, antivirus products were exposed to more than 2000 threats. The procedure consisted of downloading an infected .apk file, then installing and running it.

At each step, AV-Comparatives gave each antivirus time to detect the malware. Some of them did it and blocked it immediately. To be exact, a total of 80 applications discovered at least 30% of the threats and did not give a false positive.

Most of the antivirus analyzed were detected as Trojans by security applications of recognized companies. Apparently these were made by amateur developers who downloaded design templates and used a blacklist as a detection mechanism. Another curious element was that the same antivirus did not add itself to the white list, so it was considered a threat in its analysis.

From the test only 23 applications were able to detect 100% of the malware. The list includes Avast, AVG, Avira, Bitdefender, ESET, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Sophos, Symantec and Trend Micro, to name a few.

AV-Comparatives recommends using only anti-virus software from reputable security companies. It also invites you not to be guided by the number of downloads or user reviews, since most of the time, these are written (or paid) by the developers themselves to inflate the popularity of the application.

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