There is a lot of misinformation that exists about virus infection & malware on android devices. The most common being that malware does not exist for android. While that was once the case, sadly it is no longer true. This FAQ will answer some of the most common questions that are asked, so, as they said in one of the Aliens films, "rumour control, here are the facts"
1. Malware does exist for android devices - BUT it is extremely rare when compared to Windows based malware.
2. Malware has been found on the official Google Play Store - but only in less than around 200 apps in total, over a number of occasions and only for a short time prior to being removed.
3. Malware is an issue on mobile devices - particularly smartphones - this report makes informative reading...
Lookout Report - The State of Mobile Security 2012
4. The best defence against malware is user knowledge & understanding. I recommend you read Android permissions explained, security tips, and avoiding malware - Android Forums
5. There are a number of free security apps on the market - historically I have always used Lookout Security & Antivirus, by Lookout Mobile Security. Recently, however, I have changed to TrustGo - the first app & service ever to get a 100% rating from AV Test. (See post #31). Other apps are AVG, Avast!, & Norton, just to name some of the more popular ones that are available.
6. A security app should not run your battery down or use up your system resources.
The Official Lookout Blog | Infographic: Battery Saving 101
7. Google now run a malware scanning service on the official Play Store - this provides a great security shield giving additional confidence in the Play Store - post #4 below tells you all about it. Additionally, Google plans to extend their security services beyond Google Play and create a system for real-time continuous malware monitoring for Android. They will be evolving their "verify apps" service to take on the worthy task of finding and eliminating malware before you ever have to worry about it - post #38 tells you more about that.
8. For the first time, although very limited in scope, "drive by" malware for android has been discovered. To give yourself 100% protection against this type of malware, ensure that in "settings, security" the check box next to "unknown sources" is NOT ticked. For further information, see post #20 in this thread.
Quick & simple protection for your Asus Tablet (or other Android Device)
Some may feel that the 8 points preceding this section are too complicated & give too much information. If that is you, here are 3 simple steps to take to protect yourself.
1. Only ever install apps from the Play Store & even then only install reputable apps with a decent number of downloads & good reviews.
2. Install TrustGo from the Play Store. It is free, reliable, regularly updated & regularly at the top of independent tests.
3. Ensure that in "settings, security" the check box next to "unknown sources" is NOT ticked.
Another related subject is whether Android is safe to use for online transactions such as shopping or banking. There is no evidence that says that these activities are any less safe when performed on your Transformer than on any other OS. I regularly make online purchases from my Transformer.
There are, however, steps that should be taken, and these apply across all OSs.
1. Don't use public wifi.
2. Use security on your home router.
3. Use a strong banking password (alphanumeric & case sensitive) & change it regularly.
4. Don't store passwords/login details in your browser.
5. Keep your browser apps up to date.
6. Ensure you log in to your bank through the url you have entered, not from a link either in an email or anywhere else.
7. Ensure you are logging in / banking though an https connection.
Forum member joietrans also makes the following useful comment on this subject:
" I think it is also important to remember that what is vital to financial security is to keep a close watch over financial statements and when and how credit charges and other bank transactions become posted - whether you use internet banking sites or not. Fraud statistics have indicated that your financial information is far more likely to be compromised through low-tech mailbox theft, dumpster diving or someone lifting your credit card number when your card leaves your sight (like in a restaurant) than it is through internet banking. There is no substitute for vigilance over your financial records and checking your reports from the three credit reporting agencies on an annual basis. "