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Phone Antivirus – Cool or Whack? [Ask the Readers]

My father in law got an Android and maybe out of habit from using Windows decided to install an antivirus application. I cringed to hear this, thinking it’s an unnecessary waste of resources and if he wants to stay safe all he has to do is not enable sideloading (which he wouldn’t, and even if he did he’d get a big loud warning). And whenever he installs something to eyeball the permission notices to see if he’s comfortable with something having access to this or that. Don’t want Tango to upload your contacts? Hit cancel.

In addition to being a waste of phone resources (CPU, storage, memory, battery) and money, I’m also a little concerned that whatever he thinks is an antivirus program is more likely than any other software to be malicious, in terms of something bad masquerading as antivirus, or something that looks like it’s doing something but really isn’t, … argh.

Also it’s a pride thing for me. All right? I admit that. But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. And no I did not pressure him in any way to buy an Android; rather, like the largest cluster of phone-buyers worldwide today, it was his own decision to go Google (from WinMo, had an HD).

And now his wife thinks she needs it, my mother in law, as she got a work email on her Blackberry, the Exchange server or BES or whatever tagged it as being a virus, now she’s freaked that she’s got a phone, computer and server virus for the company as a result, everything’s got a virus especially her phone and like her husband she should get some antivirus thing for her Blackberry right away.

So what’s the story people, antivirus for phones, is it cool or is it whack? Might as well make a poll:

[poll id="108"]

Oh, don’t forget to turn this into a platform flamewar.

Doug Simmons