Virus Protection for Nexus 7

In the third and final part of our three part mini series on Nexus 7 security, we take a look at some basic steps on how to minimise your risk and consider the antivirus for nexus 7 options.

For more security information take a look at how to lock and how to encrypt your Android tablet.

Open Android Market

One of the greatest advantages of the Android ecosystem is its open nature, this allows alternative markets to pop up and introduces some competition. For example the Amazon app store (coming to the UK soon!) offers discounts and a free app of the day. Unfortunately this great strength also raises new problems.

How can you be sure that an app downloaded from an alternative market place, or even direct from a website is secure? And actually, Google do not vet individual apps in the Play store in the same way that Apple does in their app store.

How big is the Problem?

Google’s open source program manager went on record a while back stating that the Android virus problem was no where near in the same league as the problem that exists with Windows desktop PCs.

But others are claiming that the problem is definitely on the rise. And there are now many documented examples of rogue apps causing problems.

What can we do to protect ourselves from installing malware?

Antivirus for Nexus 7

Here are steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Download from trusted sources:  I am always staggered to hear people still readily download dodgy cracked software.  Any cracked or hacked application you install has been tampered with, so would you really put your trust in these sources to save yourself a pound or two.  Stick to reliable sources and you’ll instantly reduce your risk.
  • Pay attention to Security Privileges:  When you install any application it will ask if you are comfortable with the permissions it needs.  This is actually a security feature built into Android at a low level, each application runs in its own ‘sandbox’ and requires explicit permission to access other areas of your tablet.  So when you install, ask yourself if the application really needs permission to access the Internet, look up your contacts or nose around your private data.  If in doubt, jump onto Google and read what other knowledgeable people are saying about the app.
  • Use Android Antivirus software:  Android anti virus software ranges massively in quality.  A recent report highlighted that 2 out of 3 tested were not up to the job, have a look here.  Applications from Avast, Dr. Web, F-Secure, Ikarus, Kaspersky, Lookout, McAfee, MYAndroid Protection/MYMobile Security, NQ Mobile/NetQin and Zoner came out on top, but to be fair to the other software houses, the report is now a few months old and hopefully they’ve all upped their game since then.  Keep an eye out for new tests.
If you are looking for the best free Android antivirus application for your Nexus 7, then Zoner came out on top.  For what it’s worth, this is the antivirus app I run on my tablet.

For more information have a look at this report.

It’s important to remember that infection levels are still far lower than that seen with Windows, so there is no need to panic, and basic precautions can significantly reduce your risks.  Which do you think is the best antivirus app for the Nexus 7?


  1. Hey Jez,
    I recently posted the results of a comprehensive test by AVTest, an independent security institute, who tested a bunch of security apps for Android. The end of their report contains details of the best and worst anti-virus apps. Interestingly some apps call themselves anti-virus, but aren’t worth the download. Here’s a link if your readers are interested.

What do you think?

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