When it comes to electronic devices, it always pays to be aware of the links you're clicking on and the emails you open, but does that even extend to your new Kindle Fire? Let's take a look at some data.
According to eWeek and McAfee Anti-virus labs, malware targeting android systems is on the rise, growing 400 percent over October and November. These buggers are becoming more sophisticated too, having "the capability to exploit vulnerabilities in the platform to gain root access on the device." Some of them act as spyware watching your every move, while others utilize phone and texting capabilities to send expensive texts. Malware problems are still tiny compared to Windows or other systems, but it's worth being aware of.
But what about the Fire? If you've got a brand new device right out of the box, should the first thing you do be to download an anti-virus app for it? That all depends. Those previous statistics are for apps on the Google Market, where anyone can drop $25, upload a malicious program, and watch it go. On Amazon, things are MUCH different. Here's a snippet from Amazon's Developers FAQ.
"We [Amazon] will be testing the apps you submit prior to making them available in our store to verify that each app works as outlined in your product description, does not impair the functionality of the mobile device or put customer data at risk once installed, and complies with the terms of the Appstore Distribution Agreement and our Content Guidelines."
That quotation explains why the Amazon appstore is both smaller than Google Market and safer. Now here's the answer to the original question: if you're only getting your apps from Amazon, there's no need to get an anti-virus app for it. Already on this blog we've pointed to a couple apps outside of Amazon that allow you to do different things. Although the rare non-Amazon apps we present are from reputable developers with proven functionality and pose no risk, you might very well want to grab an anti-virus app if you plan on frequently sideloading apps. Considering the anti-virus apps, like the one we're featuring below, are free, it's not going to hurt anyone from grabbing one.
Here's to healthy devices and carefree browsing!
Name: Dr. Web Anti-Virus
Rating: 4.7 stars over 9 reviews
Description: Doctor Web is a Russian IT-security solutions vendor. Dr.Web anti-virus software has been developed since 1992. The Russian IT security services market leader, Doctor Web was the first vendor to offer an anti-virus as a service in Russia. The company also offers proven anti-virus and anti-spam solutions for businesses, government entities, and personal use. We have a solid record of detecting malicious programs, and we adhere to all international security standards. Doctor Web has received numerous certificates and awards; our satisfied customers spanning the globe are clear evidence of the complete trust customers have in our products.
Analysis: There are a handful of anti-virus apps on Amazon that can be found HERE, but after checking them out this one seems to work best for the Kindle Fire. An added bonus is that unlike other apps, this one seems to have the least battery drain.
Get your free copy of Dr. Web Anti-Virus.