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Old August 7th, 2010, 12:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anti-Virus or NO Anti-Virus

Quick question....

I have been running Lookout on my Dinc for awhile now. It scans all new apps for viruses and runs in the background all the time.

I was wondering how many of you guys actually use anything like this or if an Anti-virus is even needed at all?

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Old August 7th, 2010, 12:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I keep in just in case. It is annoying when your trying to install apps and pops up a lot.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 12:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You won't find any AntiVirus software on my phone. Not necessary, in my opinion.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 12:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's impossible to "get a virus", but it is possible to download an app that steals your info -- is this what the "anti-virus" looks for?
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Old August 7th, 2010, 12:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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A bit of advice to the wise. Don't use Anti-Virus. It messes up the OS. I had to do a factory reset on my DI after I installed it.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 01:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The Anti-Virus that i am speaking of is called "Lookout" i believe it is free from the marketplace and has three functions.... Anti-Virus, Data Backup, and Missing Device

It just runs in the background and in the notification bar always....and wasnt quite sure if it was necessary.

If there is no way to get viruses then i would say that its prob not necessary
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Old August 7th, 2010, 01:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It's not impossible to get a virus, but it is VERY VERY VERY unlikely. There really are very few android viruses out there, and they really aren't widespread. Mostly it's just hackers flexing there muscles saying "LOOK WHAT I DID". They generally never try to distribute them. It is much more likely to cause you more harm than good.

It's a good idea to use lookout, or something similar, for the Missing Device features though.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 01:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think the only real damage a virus could do, unless it asked for superuser and you allowed it, was to eat up storage space and maybe database space. It can't replicate and propigate and infect like a traditional virus on a computer. I don't even think with superuser access it can modify most internal volumes because don't they boot as read-only?
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Old August 7th, 2010, 01:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Can't ROM Manager flash your phone? Then a malicious app could pretty completely brick your phone, but only if you're dumb enough to root and install random apps.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 02:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Can't ROM Manager flash your phone? Then a malicious app could pretty completely brick your phone, but only if you're dumb enough to root and install random apps.
It can only do this because you physically tell Superuser to allow it to, AFAIK. An app can't do something like that behind your back.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 02:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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No, a malicious app cannot.

Not within the OS. If you are allowing something to reboot to do something, beware.

NAND is locked; /system and /boot are protected while within the OS.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 07:32 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The Titanic was unsinkable. Vista UAC was supposed to make your system saf, etc. The history of man and the history of computers is filled with claims of infallibility. While there may be no current threats, give the little hackers time, and some little turd will find a way. Now whether an anti virus will work is a while different question, but don't believe the hype that android is unhackable.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 07:36 AM   #13 (permalink)
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For now, no anti-virus.

However I do see in the future a need for anti-virus or security software for smartphones. As the ability to use your smartphone to pay for things becomes more common, I believe that some type of security will be needed.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 09:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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but don't believe the hype that android is unhackable.
It's not that Android is unhackable, it's that linux is damn close. Permissions and superuser are where it's at. It's a completely different environment that programs run in than how something like Windows does it.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 10:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I've got Lookout on my phone but the anti-virus portion is turned off. No need for that imo.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 02:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I downloaded a wallpaper and it caused my phone to act crazy; flickering fast and switching between pages, etc. I was finally able to get on the internet by force and downloaded an antivirus program. It scanned and found a virus in the wallpaper. Removed it and am using Lookout now.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 02:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I have Lookout and just let it do it's thing. While I have faith in the system, hindsight is always 20/20. I also like the recovery option.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 02:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevil69 View Post
The Titanic was unsinkable. Vista UAC was supposed to make your system saf, etc. The history of man and the history of computers is filled with claims of infallibility. While there may be no current threats, give the little hackers time, and some little turd will find a way. Now whether an anti virus will work is a while different question, but don't believe the hype that android is unhackable.
Hardware protection preventing writing to key parts of the system, which CANNOT be circumvented during running of the OS is not hype, its reality. Thats before an attempt even gets to Android itself.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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mines turned off there is no need to the anti-virus part
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Old August 8th, 2010, 03:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Never needed an anti-virus on a PDA or smartphone before. Maybe if there's some random outbreak, but then it'll probably be a 0-day exploit that no one knows about.

Just be careful with what you install...
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Old August 8th, 2010, 05:01 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The way I look at it is this. It's the first phone that would cost more than $200 unsubsidized that I have purchased. I had Lookout on it at the beginning but removed it because everyone said that it was unnecessary. After seeing two stories about malicious apps and that Lookout caught them, not Google, I put it back on. It uses some battery, but it's nothing outrageous. On something like this I'd rather be proactive than reactive.

Maybe it's because my desktop got the AV Security Suite Virus a couple of weeks ago and turned it into a large paperweight, but being vigilant is not necessarily a bad thing. That's just me, not saying anyone has to install it, but I wouldn't fault anyone for doing so either. If I did and their phone got screwed up, I'd feel bad about it.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 10:20 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Not needed.

Just like auto task killers, they are gimmicks. If you intend to d/l random .apk files off of the internet or install random apps in a foreign language with <50 downloads from the marketplace, then it might just be worth it.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 10:45 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Has anyone that's running lookout ever found a virus? I've been running it for awhile and its neverfound anything.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 11:12 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I never tried lookout (I use Mobile Defense for location/lost phone stuff) but I had AV Free for a while and it definitely did not sit well with my phone. Mainly it would continually break my messaging (losing texts is rather annoying to a person who has saved texts for years... just in case.) To each their own, but as others have said, AV on an Android phone is only necessary if you aren't selective in your market browsing. or if you download and install unsigned apps you find on like... limewire... lolz.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 01:54 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I'm running anti-virus. its only a matter of time the virus designers start making them for phones to 1. to make them useless and 2. steal your info and your contacts. Granted you would have to install it at this point but I'm pretty sure they will figure out a way to give you one in a message or email like they have with other operating systems on phones
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Old August 9th, 2010, 02:00 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Android advises you of the permissions needed to run an app before you install it.

My advice? Don't skip through those, and you will be fine.

I mean, if a flashlight app needs access to your messaging, and contacts....I wouldn't install it. Would you?

What you are describing is a trojan, or keylogger, and not a virus. These are the least detected malicious software. Many antivirus apps do not find them. They do not spread, they do not clone themselves, or destroy the system like a typical virus would. As such, they do not set off alarms to an av app.

Chances are, even an antivirus app will not save your butt from there. Common sense on the other hand....
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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:28 AM   #27 (permalink)
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No matter how many times it's rebutted, some people are still going to believe in snake oil. To each their own.

There really is no compelling reason to install AV on the phone, as it is not possible to protect from something that does not yet exist. The current imagined benefit of AV is outweighed by the potential harm that it can cause.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 08:46 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Hardware protection preventing writing to key parts of the system, which CANNOT be circumvented during running of the OS is not hype, its reality. Thats before an attempt even gets to Android itself.
This. Android has a different architecture than Windows. Windows is intentionally designed so web sites can do fancy, whiz bang stuff with the desktop and programs can freely interact with the OS and the Interweb simultaneously. It lets your computer do amazing things like display web content as part of the desktop, but it presents security holes since it lets programs run with elevated privileges.

Android isn't like this as it requests your permission to do virtually anything. When you install an app, you've got the long list of stuff the app wants permission to do. When you click Ok, you've granted that app permission to do all of that stuff. I tried to download a live wallpaper app once that wanted permissions to my contacts. Why would a live wallpaper app want to read my contacts? There's no good reason for that, so I didn't download the app.

I'm not saying that Android is a flawless, rock solid OS, but it's solid enough that if holes are found that allow people to install programs without your consent and without your knowledge (which is basically what viruses do) and then steal your data and/or contacts and send it off somewhere it's going to be pretty anomalous and pretty well publicized as well.

The threat to Android is simple social engineering. There was a story a while back of hackers who created a program that simply displayed a ribbon on the screen, but that read all the contacts on the phone and sent them off to who knows where. The program claimed to be a preview of the Twilight movie if I remember correctly. Thousands of people downloaded the program, saw the warning that said the program needed full internet access and access to all the contacts on the phone, clicked Ok anyway and installed it. This is social engineering 101 and goes back to the early virus days when someone would hand you a floppy disk and claim it was a copy of Doom or something. This is the real risk on Android, but it's easily avoidable by simply reading the warnings before you install a program.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 09:02 AM   #29 (permalink)
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When you install an app, you've got the long list of stuff the app wants permission to do. When you click Ok, you've granted that app permission to do all of that stuff.
OK, so I only use the MArket Place to download any apps and I do read the list of permissions. The trouble is, I don't always know what a lot of the permissions mean, whether it is necessary for the app to have it or not, and whether they might compromise security. A.Nonymous, You mentioned a wallpaper app wanting access to phone contacts, which seems obvious (now you mention it) but some of them are not so clear.

Eg. 3g watchdog wants access to Phone Calls - what does that mean exactly? Although I am pretty sure 3g watchdog is fine, I might have been worried by that and not downloaded it.
Aldilko (e-reader) needs access to my location (why? Is it bad if it did?),
Astrid Tasks needs access to my location, my network comm, my personal info, my phone calls.......... etc etc.

I would find it really useful to have a list of what these different permissions mean, what the risks are, and examples of why an app might (legitimately) need access to it. I don't want to invite trouble onto my phone, but I don't want to leave it app-less either.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 11:41 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Here's an awesome post/article by a member who's an Android developer. It's a great article about what the different permissions mean.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 02:15 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Many thanks A.Nonymous. A very useful thread.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Default Is an anti-virus app now necessary?

We all have heard about the Android trojan that was spotted this morning. I may be jumping the gun here, but should I install one of the anti-virus apps on to my Dinc? Does anyone know if one is better than the other?
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Old August 10th, 2010, 03:53 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I've had lookout installed since I activated my phone. It works good, but this is the 1st known trojan, I don't think many will surface.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 03:56 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Not IMO, Just be smart about what you install. If an app requests a permission that seems weird (a media player with access to your messages, in this case) don't install it. It's really that simple
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Old August 10th, 2010, 03:58 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Not IMO, Just be smart about what you install. If an app requests a permission that seems weird (a media player with access to your messages, in this case) don't install it. It's really that simple
+1

Always be smart and pay attention to what has access to your stuff. That logic pretty much applies to everything in life. Follow that and you should be set.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:01 PM   #36 (permalink)
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When the Galaxy S live wallpapers were ripped on xda they wanted access to my contact info, messages, and accounts, No sir. just to be safe.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:07 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I'm just going to point out that Trojans are not viruses. They're different species, (and different phylum, class, order, family and genus too). Anti"virus" programs don't necessarily protect against Trojans. Some, if not most will protect against some know Trojans. But that's not necessarily the case.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:37 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Not IMO, Just be smart about what you install. If an app requests a permission that seems weird (a media player with access to your messages, in this case) don't install it. It's really that simple
Agree 100%. Look at the permissions the app is asking for and use some common sense. I tried to install a board game app a while back that wanted access to my contact list. There's no reason for that so I didn't install the app.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:47 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Agree 100%. Look at the permissions the app is asking for and use some common sense. I tried to install a board game app a while back that wanted access to my contact list. There's no reason for that so I didn't install the app.
+1 people just need to watch what they are doing and everything will be ok.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:56 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Agree 100%. Look at the permissions the app is asking for and use some common sense. I tried to install a board game app a while back that wanted access to my contact list. There's no reason for that so I didn't install the app.
+1, and if you're unsure about why it needs a permission email the dev. And be extra leery about non-market apps.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 06:19 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Default Android and Anti-Virus ??

I was one of the first to buy a phone with windows CE.
Every told me there where (at that point) no virusses for Windows CE but ....

Then I received a e-mail (connected via Wifi) and opend it. It was only rubish (I thought).

I month later a received my phone-bill. Over $ 300. I phone-dialer was installed on my device. I search the internet and didn't find anything about a dialer on the windows CE device. The only prove was the bill (> $ 300) and the service I removed from my device.

Some will tell "oke, but that was windows ce".
I now own a Android 2.2 device and a know that again there will be people that tell me "there is no mallware for you device".

But, I ALWAYS use a mallware protector. Because nobody is telling you that there is mallware for you Android and some believe there isn't any mallware for android doesn't mean you have to take the risk, especialy when there is free anti mallware.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 06:35 AM   #42 (permalink)
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I can't help wondering whether these "antivirus" apps aren't so much snake oil. Obviously they aren't really antivirus per se (heck, there aren't any Android viruses to write definitions for, so how can you watch for them? Antivirus doesn't work by magic), and the fact that they are marketed as something they aren't doesn't inspire me with confidence right off the bat. And the app descriptions seem to appeal to fear rather than actually explaining what the apps do and how they do it (well, except for things like location/remote wipe capabilities which you can buy elsewhere, minus the snake oil). Makes me wonder.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 06:46 AM   #43 (permalink)
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agreed with most.

i dont see the need to run anti-virus on the incredible especially considering the OS is linux based. not some windows type trash. people have been conditioned to think that because these phones operate like
computers, theyre susceptible to the same troubles.

i use lookout in the background only to locate my phone should it ever get lost or stolen. its ultra hidden :]

i removed the notification in the bar
removed the actual notification bar
AND
removed lookout from my app drawer (all with launcherpro plus)

it kills battery a bit quicker leaving gps on all day, but the peace of mind is a good trade-off.
in terms of anti-virus. no way. just know what youre doing and youre good.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 07:50 AM   #44 (permalink)
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possibly a silly question... i'm not too computer smart and was wondering: could i get a virus or something similar from transferring an mp3 from my computer to my droid x via usb?

i realize vendors such as itunes music store or amazon mp3 would never distribute viruses... but is it a possibility from other "less legal" sources?
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Old October 14th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Is there any way to check what permissions are needed AFTER you've installed a program? Probably a stupid question... I read this thread and the linked article just a little while ago and now actually understand how it all works.

Just hoping there isn't anything wrong with Edwin, Snesoid, or Advanced Task Killer...
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Old October 14th, 2010, 01:04 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by grindle View Post
Is there any way to check what permissions are needed AFTER you've installed a program? Probably a stupid question... I read this thread and the linked article just a little while ago and now actually understand how it all works.

Just hoping there isn't anything wrong with Edwin, Snesoid, or Advanced Task Killer...
You can go into Manage Applications, click on an app and scroll down to see the permissions. There's a lot wrong with Advanced Task Killer, but that's another topic.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 05:40 PM   #47 (permalink)
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You can go into Manage Applications, click on an app and scroll down to see the permissions. There's a lot wrong with Advanced Task Killer, but that's another topic.
ATK is fine if only used when needed and not constantly running in the background.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 06:04 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayrad View Post
I can't help wondering whether these "antivirus" apps aren't so much snake oil. Obviously they aren't really antivirus per se (heck, there aren't any Android viruses to write definitions for, so how can you watch for them? Antivirus doesn't work by magic), and the fact that they are marketed as something they aren't doesn't inspire me with confidence right off the bat. And the app descriptions seem to appeal to fear rather than actually explaining what the apps do and how they do it (well, except for things like location/remote wipe capabilities which you can buy elsewhere, minus the snake oil). Makes me wonder.
It is most assuredly snake oil. At best, it will do nothing more than just sit there and waste space. Conversely, it's just as likely that it will dick up your phone. For some, the placebo effect seems to be worth the risk.
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Old December 6th, 2010, 04:19 PM   #49 (permalink)
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It's a good idea to use lookout, or something similar, for the Missing Device features though.
What does missing device mean???
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Old December 6th, 2010, 04:56 PM   #50 (permalink)
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What does missing device mean???
It lets you track the device remotely (although you really need gps on to make this useful, you can't count on the Verizon/Google location to be precise enough), make it sound an alarm (once you track the phone to a crowded restaurant you've never been in and/or you can't figure out exactly where you left it) and the ability to remotely wipe/lock the device (paid version only I think)

https://www.mylookout.com/features/missing-device

Oh, and just a quick comment on the GPS. It only uses power when it's getting a location fix. IE if you're using maps or Nav. Unless you have something constantly polling the GPS, it shouldn't be using any power. I leave mine "on" all the time with out any big battery issues.
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