Google Play Protect stopped almost 2 billion malicious apps in 2019

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -

Besides blocking malicious apps, Google Play Protect also incorporates Safe Browsing and “Find My Device” features

Google Play Protect finds almost 2 billion malicious apps in 2019

Google's released security app Play Protect has blocked over 1.9 billion malicious applications that did not originate from the Play Store in 2019, protecting users from harm.[1] This high number would have probably been far smaller if the app would not come pre-installed on all Android devices.

According to information on Android.com, Google Play Protect is a very advantageous tool that helps numerous Android users to be safe from malware. The built-in anti-malware app can help everyone to feel more secure about their phones, as Google's advanced machine learning technology can prevent various online threats.

Furthermore, Play Protect performs more than 50 billion app scans per day. The best part is that it does not matter if the program comes from the official Google Play Store[2] or not as the tool checks it anyway. Other features that are offered by Play Protect include Safe Browsing on Google Chrome and “Find My Device,” which can help to find a misplaced device, as well as lock it if required:[3]

If you’ve misplaced your device, Find My Device has your back. You can locate it by signing into your Google account, or even call it directly from your browser. Lock your device remotely or display a message on the lock screen, so if someone finds it they know who to contact. Plus, if you’re convinced it’s lost for good you can erase all your data.

Google is orientating on children and family safety

Even though Google Play Protect is an advantageous tool developed by Google, the company also uses other services and techniques to ensure better user security. For example, in a report released on May 29, 2019, Google claimed that one of the main goals of the company is providing a safe environment for children and families that use Google Play.

According to Kanika Sachdeva, the product manager from Google Play,[4] the additional safety features include only allowing children to view appropriate content, providing only adequate advertisements, and ensuring that private information is stored safely and treated properly.

Only default calling and texting apps get permission to access SMS and call log information

Another report was posted by the director and product manager of Google Play, Paul Bankhead, on October 8, 2018, which shed more light on another safety feature that Google provided by the IT giant. He claimed that one of the main goals of the company is to stay focused on users' security and privacy while they use the Google Play Store and apps. To achieve that, Google Play Developer policies are often updated with new requirements and broader details.

Paul Bankhead also notes that all apps included in Google Play will have to fulfill strict requirements in order to meet the specifications of  API level 26 (Android 8.0 and higher), to ensure that the latest APIs are used for better security and performance.

Google Play will also disallow some applications to access SMS and call log data, and, in the future, some apps will not even be allowed to ask for such permissions in the first place.[5]

Only an app that has been selected as a user's default app for making calls or text messages will be able to access call logs and SMS, respectively.

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

Ugnius Kiguolis is a professional malware analyst who is also the founder and the owner of 2-Spyware. At the moment, he takes over as Editor-in-chief.

Contact Ugnius Kiguolis
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