Note: Kindle Fire HDX owners, please see this more recent post, which is specific to the HDX line – Kindle Fire HDX Antivirus: Do You Need It?
Since a great many site visitors get here via an internet search having to do with virus protection for the Kindle Fire, I’m assuming that many people reading this are gravely concerned about the possibility of their Kindle Fire being targeted by malware.
I wrote an entire post on this back in February of this year, Does Your Kindle Fire Need Virus Protection?, and what I said in that post still holds true to this day:
The Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD do not need antivirus or malware protection because they are not “proliferation-friendly” devices, run a custom version of Android, and cannot multi-task, and therefore are not (yet) being targeted by hackers.
Furthermore, Amazon thoroughly vets apps before allowing them to be listed in its App Store and has a vested interest in ensuring no malware gets through to its customers. Some of you may be saying, “Yeah, but there are LOTS of spyware apps with excessive permissions in Amazon’s App Store,” but spyware is not the same thing as malware, and whether or not permissions are “excessive” is a judgment call each consumer makes for him- or herself.
Also, since the app developers are required to list all required permissions right on their apps’ product pages, it’s very easy for consumers to tell whether or not they believe a given app has “spyware” capabilities. Malware, on the other hand, is the stuff that installs itself without your knowledge and does much more significant damage than sending a developer information about your browser history.
So long as you never: hack your Fire, sideload apps from sources other than Amazon, install an unsupported browser (like Dolphin), install unsupported browser extensions (like Flash), or open suspicious/unfamiliar attachments from within the Fire’s email app, your risk of malware invading your Fire is very, very small.
Malware surely will show up in Amazon’s App Store one day, but when it does it will exploit a previously unknown security hole. That means existing antivirus/anti-malware software won’t protect users from it, anyway.
If you still have nagging concerns, read my original article: Does Your Kindle Fire Need Virus Protection?, where I provide much greater detail on the matter.