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  • @peanutt69: don't worry about deleting them. i know i don't.

    either get a better android phone which comes without them (such as pine, fair phone, xda, etc) or in any recent android you can simply disable them (hold on the app, go for "app info", tap disable), which is good enough for all technical details (except it will still take a tiny bit of your phone storage).

    you could also just ignore them or remove their shortcuts, but they would still bother you about updates.

    the options other folks already brought up are very text savvy.

    there's really nothing to work about leaving those apps there, in practice.


    if you're worried about privacy issues, that's a whole different rabbit hole! very (i mean really) deep down there's no app you can delete that will keep you private enough on ANY cellphone.

    it is a bold privacy statement, but it's also true: cellphones need cell towers. unless you can control the towers your cellphone can be tracked and pinpointed on a map, through triangulation.

    in the end, you need to do your own research of what you really want.

    personally, i don't even disable them, in case i might want to use em as fallback. but i will eventually get a better phone that comes without them, not due to privacy concerns, but to technical quality and proper consumer incentives on my part. google, unlike i believed for too many of the latest years, completely lost track of what is good software... it was never THAT good really, precisely because it wasn't open source. but the competition being pushed was just so terrible that it looked amazing. to me (worked with computer coding from 1996 to 2016). all closed source, i now finally realized, are rather dreadful in the long run. they always die of some sort of self inflicted cancer.

    anyway, my final advice is the same as the first and second paragraph.

  • @Zsul When you upload things to Virustotal (the service that Uptodown uses), the various AV vendors often run the software sandboxed to see what it does. I once uploaded a piece of custom software by accident, and the developer called me panicstricken, asking me if I'd installed a bunch of new machines on our network, because their monitoring dashboard was getting filled up with all the AV vendors' test virtual machines, running the executable I'd uploaded.

    In fact, many virus scanners on peoples' computers do this, and monitor the behaviour for "suspicious" actions. Surreptitiously downloading executable code when something's not a known updater/installer is one such action that triggers regular AV software's behavioural monitoring (AV has moved on a bit since basic pattern-matching). Even in the case of pattern-matching, a lot of the AVs have signatures for such bundled downloaders.

    But I do agree with your general point. It's better to be safe than sorry, and this is why I tend to only use F-Droid, and disable apps with anti-features. That way I only get completely free/open-source software, backed by the reassurance of F-Droid's reproducible-builds system. Trust is everything if you don't read the source code or the software is proprietary!

  • @Catweazle I like Android Bitdefender too! The free version is so lightweight and basic it's just what I need. I'd actually pay for it (or another trustworthy AV equallyl stripped-back and simple) if it wasn't free, just to get a non-bloated AV!

    Regarding ClamAV you're so right... it provides virtually no realtime protection or disinfection capability (beyond deleting files that aren't locked/active), and its static detection rate is truly awful.

    But you can improve the static detection rate to be comparable to Windows Defender, Kaspersky etc., by including the custom databases. Sane Security (UK) and SecuriteInfo (France) distribute a number of databases. I believe the RFXN (Linux Malware Detect) databases are also compatible with ClamAV. The only problem is ClamAV suffers a lot of false-positives and adding the custom databases makes this even worse. I get lots of false positives from the Sane Security databases in particular, unless I restrict it to just a few of them. SecuriteInfo also provide a load of signatures for Android malware. It's just a pity no one has ever ported the ClamAV engine to Android. But you can still scan APKs from your PC if you use those signatures.

    When I last tested ClamAV against a folder full of 0-12month old malware, it deleted 25% of the samples with the stock databases, and 95% of the files with the addition of the custom databases. I don't know how many of the samples were unique, as I just saved any spam emails I could find that contained an archive or executable attachment from a generic contact email address. The sample size was also pretty small, only 100 or so.

  • - Ambassador -

    @jamesbeardmore , in the network there is a permanent fight between those who manufacture malware and those who fight it, many times the origin of malware are different governments and companies, directed at the competition or enemy countries.
    The user is in the middle of this, with more than 100,000 new malware and exploits that appear daily, for this reason a good AV must also receive new information daily, or better as some, receive information in real time, based on the cloud .
    If Clam does not receive this information daily by itself, it is of little use if you add external information by hand, this ensures protection for a very short time, apart from heuristic detection, which in Clam is non-existent, which also only acts on demand, say, it does not prevent infection.

  • @karst124: I don't think APKPure can be called "legit" when they clearly violate licenses by hosting non-free apps for free (for example Goat Simulator).

  • @tarix29 unfortunately I tried Uptodown yesterday -following this endorsement by Vivaldi - but the downloaded TV channel player APK didn't install properly(*). So I went back to APKpure and it installed no problem.

    (*) The very reason I started using these sites in the first place - I used to install on another phone then transfer the APK to mine, then this issue of not being able to install started happening. I believe there's some new modular system which builds an APK formatted to match your phone requirements. But APKpure seems to host generic APKs which always install.

    I'll continue to try Uptodown first then use APKpure second...

  • @mossman I haven't actually used Uptodown, so I don't know much about it. I do, however, know that APKPure violates licenses, which is illegal, though not always enforceable. As a company, I think it is best for Vivaldi to not get involved with APKPure so they're not at risk of getting involved in a legal dispute.

    It is worth noting, however, that Vivaldi is available on APKPure, and was uploaded by someone who appears to have no affiliation with Vivaldi. I'm generally not inclined to trust files provided by a third-party, "verified" by an illegal website. It's a far greater security risk than even going straight from Google in my mind.

  • @tarix29 I can see your point, however my limited experience has shown me that APKpure seems to be the only site which always delivers correctly installing and up to date apps (forgot to mention that TV player also turned out to be several versions out of date on Uptodown).

    Haven't had any security scares either.

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