Do You Need To Install an Anti-Virus App on Your Android Phone? The Shocking Truth!

Back in 2009, when Android smartphone owners were an extreme minority and Symbian OS was reigning supreme, cyber criminals were snubbing Google's mobile operating system and focusing their energy into attacking far more lucrative platforms.

Fast forward to 2014, Android has become the leading mobile platform with hundreds of millions of consumers around the world owning at least one device running on it and sharing their personal and financial information to various channels through the OS.

Needless to say, our mobile landscape has changed drastically within the past few years -- and with the immense success of Android comes a slew of terrible threats to the safety and security of its users -- most of which come in the form of applications and games that look clean on the outside but are actually carriers of hideous viruses and malware.

Rising to become the leading the smartphone and tablet market in the whole of Asia Pacific - altogether eclipsing Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia - the Philippines has clearly attracted the nefarious eyes of cyber criminals the world over. Taking advantage of the fact that Pinoys love downloading applications and playing mobile games on their Android smartphones, malware-engineers are doing their best to use such software to attack mobile devices in the country.

Trend Micro's Feisty Counterattack

With the rapid rise of malicious and high-risk mobile apps in a game-loving nation like the Philippines, Trend Micro gathered mobile game developers from around Asia to set up the Safe Gaming Alliance, signifying its new focus on the mobile gaming industry built upon its deep experience in the mobile and social networking space.

According to a recent online poll conducted by Trend Micro Inc., at least 46 percent of consumers in Philippines have encountered or downloaded fake or risky apps on their mobile devices while 17 percent do not know if their mobile devices are infected with malware or viruses.

As part of its commitment to cybersecurity, Trend Micro, together with game developers, is introducing the first-of-its kind Dr. Safety mobile security app in an effort to create a world safer for mobile gaming which is now available in the rest of the Asia Pacific. Featuring six secure game technologies including a security certified games recommendations feature, the app ensures consumers are downloading legitimate gaming apps for the best possible mobile gaming experience.

Dr Safety, Ant-Virus App for Android, Anti-Malware App for Android

Mobile gaming developers forming part of the Safe Gaming Alliance include AppXplore, CreatioSoft, FunPlus, Games Solution Centre – Singapore, Gamiana, Gumi Asia, Monkey Wrench Games, PIGSSS GAMES, Softstar Entertainment and Tuttifrutti Interactive.

"Smartphone penetration in the Philippines continues to grow consistently every year. Along with this growth, we are also seeing an increase in mobile game app downloads. In a country where consumers rely heavily on in-app advertisements for recommendations, it makes it even easier for cybercriminals to target unsuspecting consumers to download malicious apps through mobile advertising. This puts more Filipino at risk of cyberattacks. By working together with the mobile gaming ecosystem, we can offer a trusted and secure platform for Filipinos, sparring them the worry of downloading fake or risky mobile game apps that are pre-loaded with malicious content," said Mr. Terrence Tang, Senior Director of Consumer Business, Asia Pacific, Trend Micro.

Commenting on this partnership, Mr. David Ng, Chief Executive Officer, Gumi Asia said, "At Gumi, we believe not only in creating mobile games that players love, but also in giving them the security they need. We are happy to be a member of the Safe Gaming Alliance and to be part of a continuous effort towards a safer gaming environment for all mobile gamers."

Dr Safety, Ant-Virus App for Android, Anti-Malware App for Android

Mobile Vulnerability Timeline

The number of mobile malware and high-risk apps hit 2 million according to Trend Micro’s first quarter security roundup for 2014. The mobile threat landscape is quickly resembling today’s PC threat landscape wherein vulnerabilities are discovered one after another since June 2013. The Android “master key” vulnerability, which affected almost all devices, could make any mobile malware “legitimate.” Shortly after, vulnerabilities in device accessories like SIM cards and fake iPhone chargers also came to the fore. A platform bug that could also trap a device in an endless reboot loop and another that could leak user data soon followed. Most recently, the Heartbleed vulnerability posed a risk to mobile devices.

Android Vulnerability, Android Viruses and Malware

It is no secret that cybercriminals are actively repacking popular mobile gaming apps for malicious intent. These apps are not only hosted on malicious sites but even in legitimate app stores. One good example is the recent case of trojanized Flappy Bird, which was repackaged and injected with malicious code and downloaded by countless of unsuspecting users within the first 24 hours following the announcement of the official apps’ withdrawal from the app store.

Get Secure Mobile Gaming with Dr. Safety App, Bearing Trend Micro's Legendary Badge of Protection

Dr. Safety is a free mobile app with a unique game application recommendation function, giving mobile gamers the confidence to play any recommended games with a peace of mind and sparing them the worry of downloading a copycat application or having virtual items stolen. Providing 100% detection, Dr. Safety protects users against external threats and efficiently clears any malicious mobile applications off their devices. It also improves user’s Facebook privacy and identify malicious apps that steal info including fake banking apps. Dr. Safety provides 100% detection according to AV-TEST and is also certified by PCSL and AV-Comparatives.

The six safeguarding features in Dr Safety include:

1. Safeguard game account - scans all of your apps and files to ensure they are not malicious
2. Safeguard privacy - identifies which apps collect and steal your personal info using the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network
3. Anti-phishing - blocks malicious websites including phishing and fake bank sites
4. Anti-theft - finds your device back when you have lost it
5. Anti-disturbance - blocks unwanted contact with whitelists and blacklists of phone numbers
6. Secure Certified Games Recommendation - download apps with confidence and play recommended games and utilities without worries

After seeing the Android vulnerability facts, figures and statistics from Trend Micro, I immediately downloaded and installed their new Dr. Safety application from Google Play Store on all my daily Android smartphones. I've always known that the threats are out there -- but now, it's crystal clear. I know my devices can be attacked at any moment and it's relieving to know that Dr. Safety is there, offering a strong, first layer of protection.