App Cleaning and Security

I have a Moto G (16GB) (1st Gen.)

How much Cleaning of Apps and Security is needed on cell phones like mine.?

When I got my phone a year or so ago, I Installed Battery Doctor, Clean Master, CM Security and Power Clean, thinking they were needed to keep the phone clean and safe.

I regularly select the Overview (right button on the bottom) and close Apps.

However, even though these programs seemed to remove Apps using memory, the phone seems slow and sometimes hesitant. I’m not a constant phone user, like I see many others.

Are they needed? Should they be removed?

Moderator’s note: Title edited for improved searchability. Content edited for formatting.

I want to know this as well. I also have a couple OS utility programs to supposedly “free up” RAM. While it says it frees up, say 650 MB of RAM, when I go to check my memory, I don’t see 650 MB freed up. What gives?

although these type of apps may have been need in older (pre-4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich) today they are part of the problem taking up RAM to monitor the RAM which the OS is doing on it’s own

these types off apps may be collecting data and either displaying ads or charging you for them

some have even developed into the very thing they where trying to stop

I do not run any of these type of apps

It can be a bit daunting trying to figure out how best to protect our devices and as you see, there are 1000s of options!

Your first line of defense is to simply not mess around with Android’s default security settings. Each and every phone and tablet comes with “Unknown sources” disabled in the security settings. If you want to downloaded from outside Google Play (like Amazon), all you need to do is check that box. Leaving this disabled keeps you safe from virtually all Android malware, because there’s *almost *none of it in the Google Play Store.

Android apps also exist that are “spyware” - I would say you don’t want them on your phone because they snoop through your information. These are easy to avoid by reading the permissions granted an app before installing it. If a free card playing app wants access to your contact list you may want to skip that download.

I suggest getting an antivirus app like AVG or Malwarebytes - free services that have been around for quite some time and can offer protection. I also usually recommend CCleaner as an assist to the antiVirus you choose. Though these are arguably not needed either because the Google Play Store does a great job of vetting the apps before they become available for you to download.

Battery Doctor can lead to battery savings, but it can also undermine the operation of your phone by killing processes that make it function most optimally. It gives you convenient control over brightness but you can do that manually if you really wanted to. Your phone may be slower because the battery saving app is trying to stop some background applications - which don’t want to stop.

Clean Master, CM Security and Power Clean… - I would get rid of them. Manual Cache clearing is of course good (and is really simple) but there is no need of a separate app for it. The idea behind apps that claim to boost your memory is to close these background apps systematically. Unfortunately, this exacerbates the problem. Memory and battery life is used to restart the apps, and this constant closing and restarting of apps can make your phone unstable.

And since I’ve taken too long as it is - I would warn about click bait. Don’t fall for it. If you get a pop-up on your phone while reading some article or visiting some website that says your phone is infected and just click here, blah blah blah - don’t fall for it. Just back out/go to the home screen and all should be good.

Thank you for taking the time to write this. While I like both AVG and particularly Malwarebytes for their intended purpose, I keep neither (or any other anti-malware apps) on my Android phones. At most, I would suggest downloading one or the other in the event I felt someone had actually acquired malware. For the most part, “malware” these days seems to be advertising based web browser highjacks. Generally, clearing cache and data from the compromised browser will sort that.

I never run third party cleaners, battery optimizers or other “phone improvement” apps. In my experience, they’re more trouble than they are worth.

Interestingly, the manufacturer’s themselves take different approaches. Huawei has system optimization tools built into its’ Phone Manager app. Samsung reminds me to reboot my J3, when it deems necessary.

Good reminder about rebooting - often helps to force system updates which is also critical for defending your device.

Additionally, for those who decide that ‘more is better’ and run multiple security products, you may want to read what Kaspersky has to say about running Multiple Antivirus programs … it’s a bad idea

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