Why Does Android Get More Malware Than iOS

Millions of people use Android and iPhone devices worldwide, yet Android devices receive drastically more security threats. While speaking virtually at the VivaTech 2021 conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that Android devices are 47 times morelikely to get malware.

Several reputable cybersecurity researchers back Cook’s claims — while Android is responsible for over 47% of identified malware infections, iPhones account for less than 1%. So, let’s dig into why Android devices get more malware than their iOS counterparts.

Read: Mobile Security: Trends and Threats

Sideloading

Tim Cook says that sideloading is the primary reason for Android devices having higher malware incident rates. In a nutshell, sideloading is the presence of third-party app stores for an operating system. Sideloading is a problem for Android because third-party app stores are a significant threat vector for malware as they have fewer security protocols.

Looser Security

While iOS is renowned for its security, Android’s security is less sound. Sure, Android is catching up with a more secure operating system, more frequent security updates, and enhanced security options, but Google’s OS isn’t where it should be yet. Perhaps that’s why many users download Android malware protection tools to stop viruses, Trojans, spyware, and other malicious software.

Deeper Market Penetration

Undoubtedly, hackers are more likely to create malware for a more popular operating system to attack a greater number of users. According to Statista, Android maintains a 73% global mobile OS market share, while iOS has less than 26% of the pie.

Open-Source Nature

While there are many reasons why Android is a more popular mobile OS than iOS, its open-source nature is a large factor. All types of developers and device manufacturers can access Android’s source code because it is open source. In fact, some experts say that open-sourcing made Android the market leader in mobile devices. On the other hand, Apple’s closed-source iOS doesn’t allow developers to make modifications or enter the Apple ecosystem as easily.

While Apple’s tight control over its devices makes iOS feel more restrictive, it also helps Apple finetune the user experience and offer more security. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the iPhone doesn’t get viruses. Far from it. Apple indeed admits that it has a malware problem. But the malware problem is certainly not as significant as on Android.

Read: Android Spyware: Is Google’s Built-In Security Enough

How to Stop Malware on Your Mobile Device

Without suitable precautions, you can get malware on any mobile device, whether you use an iPhone or an Android device. As mentioned above, the first step towards stopping malicious software is to download proactive anti-malware software for your Android or iOS device. Top mobile security tools that are light, powerful, audit apps, and detect ransomware, are good options.

Additionally, only download legitimate apps from authentic stores. But even when downloading from official platforms, please exercise caution. For example, the Apple App Store can have malicious apps that infect millions of users.

To check if an app is safe, look at the download numbers. Mobile platforms usually remove dangerous apps after some time. An app that boasts over 10 million downloads and has many positive reviews is probably safe.

Although Android devices certainly attract more malware, you can stay secure with the right security tools and some common-sense measures!

 


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