In some cases, it will simply send ads to your smartphone, which is annoying but not exactly dangerous.
At other times, rogue software can imitate sites or apps you normally trust, tricking you into giving up your password or credit card details.
Apple has tried hard to discredit Android as a virus-infested swamp of malware and there have been several high-profile Android security threats. Not according to Android security chief Adrian Ludwig.
These security apps cannot protect you from a lack of common sense.
In fact, most of the protection they offer only comes into effect once you’ve already fallen victim to malware.
Emails with attachments – much like the ones you get on your PC – or MMSs that get automatically downloaded, hacks on popular apps such as Whats App, phishing scams, fake apps, APKs you've installed manually (outside of the Play Store) or clicking suspect download links, among others.
The security threat malware poses to your device varies.
Android has a tarnished reputation for security and viruses. Just prior to the Google I/O developer conference earlier this year, Ludwig told reporters: "Do I think the average user on Android needs to install [antivirus apps]? I don’t think 99 percent plus of users get a benefit from [anti-virus apps]." Ludwig also claimed that the threat posed by Android malware has been "overstated". If the chief security engineer for Android says it ain't a problem, suggesting antivirus companies are just trying to sell their products, then should we be concerned? Security companies and antivirus app developers would respond by saying Google is simply trying to downplay the flaws in its own Play Store. A virus is a type of malicious software (malware) program, the likes of which have been infecting our PCs for decades.