Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Anti-malware software for tablets is not needed... yet. We may see a rise in necessity in the coming months and years.

Do I need anti-virus software for my tablets? I'm giving my two grandkids a Nexus 7 tablet for Christmas. Do I need anti-virus on them and if so, what do you recommend?

In this excerpt from Answercast #76, I look at the necessity of having anti-malware software for virus and spy protection on portable devices such as tablets.

Anti-malware software for tablets

Well, lucky grandkids! Those are actually pretty cool tablets from what I understand.

The short answer is that in my opinion, no, not today.

However, I do believe that this is an area where, in the coming months and years, we are going to see a more active exploitation by malware. We are going to see a rise in the importance of having anti-malware solutions on your mobile devices: tablets, phones, iPads, etc.

So right now, I think the answer is no. But definitely keep your ear to the ground. I do think it's one of those things that's going to change over time.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6109 - December 6, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Bob Jones
December 7, 2012 7:44 PM

You didn't explain WHY anti-virus software is not required now.

Mark J
December 8, 2012 1:59 AM

@Bob Jones
According to the article, AV software isn't needed because there really isn't any active exploitation by malware yet.

Ken in San Jose
December 8, 2012 9:59 PM

I don't know? If you use a tablet to surf the web, access E-mail, do banking, and do most of the things on the internet you do with a computer, it will be hacked! And you need to be just as careful as with a computer. I would rather be ahead of the curve on security than wake up and find my checking account was empty.

December 9, 2012 2:49 AM

For an Android tablet, there is a free version of AVG for tablets. I however wish that my tablet had not come with a preinstalled trial of another brand, since presumably two AV's would conflict with each other. I wish that tablets allowed for removal of preinstalled software as mine came with several programs I'll never use.

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