Apple’s recent stand against side-loading and CEO Tim Cook’s comments about Android phones having way more malware than iOS devices did not sit well with many people. Cook claimed that side-loading apps would destroy the security of iPhones and blamed the practice for compromising Android phones.
While malware can easily infect Android devices and also appears on the Play Store in the form of bad apps, iOS and the App Store are also not free of it. However, a lot also depends on how people use their phones, the kind of apps they download, the links they click on, the updates they install, and more.
With that in mind, we thought of asking you, our readers, if you’ve ever experienced malware on your Android phones. Here’s what you had to say.
Have you ever experienced malware on your Android phone?
We received over 18,000 votes in our poll on our website and YouTube channel. The results show that while malware comes up often on Android phones, most of you — 82.8% — have never experienced it on your devices.
Meanwhile, about 9.53% of the respondents experienced some form of malware on their Android phones over a year ago. Only a handful of voters came across it in the last year and last six months. 3.477% of the poll takers said they experienced malware on their Android phones just last month.
What you had to say
Thalapathy Thalapathy: I do side-load apps. But I have never faced a security issue or malware.
Albin: I’ve sideloaded APKs for years, but from reliable sites and have always run a well-ranked free scanner – I recall one incidence of having an APK blocked by BitDefender. Didn’t consider that an “experience” of the bad app, but of good detection and blocking.
Killsmetosay: I have never had it unless I just never noticed.
Hadlee Simons: I think the last time I suffered from malware was on a review unit in 2017, haha. LeEco device that had sketchy adware via the file manager, constantly pushing out adult ads. Swapped out units and the same thing started happening. But nothing on a phone I actually own, thank goodness.
Dwight Chu: One of the games from the play store (and that was shocking), the app constantly pushed ads via the browser, even though the app was uninstalled got advertisements sporadically on lock screen during calls and normal phone use. Normal factory wipe did not help. had to use oden to wipe the phone. I also got a similar issue by sideloading with acmarket on another Samsung phone. Strangely I never had this issue on Huawei or Realme phones. The Samsung phones that had this issue did not have the bootloader unlocked, had any aftermarket custom ROMs, or were rooted.
Aravind Dnivara: Having used 2 devices in the past and currently using one, I have never encountered malware. I have never side-loaded apps from other sources and always keep my phone up-to-date and on a monthly basis remove all the unused apps. Other than small glitches (phone maker induced) in the OS, I have never encountered any issues with my phone.