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Samsung is pre-installing "anti" malware on your new Galaxy S10

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Whether you like it or not, Samsung's new Galaxy S10 series smartphones are also getting back so-called malware protection from McAfee. The software that can be used during device maintenance and never completely uninstalled promises more security for networks and with downloaded apps. Critics doubt, however, that the app is effective and don't like the coercion.

It's a well-known fact that even the most expensive Samsung smartphones come with a number of third-party apps that you can't completely uninstall. Even after your deactivation, there are still remnants that sometimes occupy a few kilobytes of memory and are no longer verifiably active.

Unfortunately, the situation is different with the anti-malware software. This comes from McAfee and is an integral part of the so-called "device maintenance" in Samsung's One UI user interface; formerly Samsung Experience and TouchWiz.

samsung mcafee crapware
Samsung continues a long, inglorious tradition and will pre-install McAfee anti-malware on upcoming smartphones. / © NextPit

Device maintenance used Gamification in previous versions. The points system it contains is intended to encourage you to install Anti-Malware. If you don't, you can't get the full score and your device calls itself "not optimized".

This would not be so bad if the services partner, McAfee, was not only free for a limited time. After a trial period, a subscription fee is charged for the automatic app check and the encryption of your network connection is only free for the first 250 MBs; then you pay a daily or monthly fee or surf "unprotected".

After all, McAfee's malware detection proves effective in independent testing by AV-Test. However, it is no better than the completely free alternative from Sophos. So it is questionable why Samsung is de facto luring the buyers of its smartphones, some of which are available for over $1,000, into a subscription trap. Especially since anti-malware apps can't stop you from installing malicious apps due to a lack of system permissions and, once they have been installed and deeply nested, can no longer free you from them.

It is also worth pointing out that this does not apply to every market. There are some regions where Samsung is not allowed to pre-install McAfee on smartphones for legal reasons.

What do you think of anti-malware apps and Samsung's practice of pre-installing apps on its most expensive smartphones? Leave a comment with your experiences and tips if necessary.

Source: XDA-Developers

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Eric Ferrari-Herrmann

Eric Ferrari-Herrmann
Senior Editor

Eric has been with AndroidPIT since 2014. He’s writing articles and reviews for the German website. Topics are mostly privacy and new technology but there's also the occasional piece on environmental sustainability.

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  • 28
    itprolonden Mar 1, 2019 Link to comment

    Cancelled my preorder because of this.

  • 5
    JeffD Feb 27, 2019 Link to comment

    Preinstalling something that will require a subscription is a really bad look, Samsung. if they feel that anti malware is so important, they should make it user choice, so we can select a free option. So now my Device Maintenance about will never be 100%. That will annoy me.

  • 17
    Gavin Runeblade Feb 27, 2019 Link to comment

    Bloatware is bad. Manufacturers and telecoms should really just stop installing anything but the OS.

  • 49
    storm Feb 27, 2019 Link to comment

    crapware strikes again

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