Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are increasingly targeted by malware. Therefore, it is crucial to take mobile security threats as seriously as those on traditional PCs. Google Play Protect is an Android built-in defense against malware that checks apps before they are downloaded from the Google Play Store. It also scans for potentially harmful apps downloaded from third-party sources. Although it has faced criticism in the past for poor malware detection rates, it is still better than having no defense at all.
To enhance its protection, Google recently announced the addition of real-time app scanning capability to Google Play Protect. This feature conducts a real-time analysis of apps and sends important signals to the Play Protect backend infrastructure for code-level evaluation. It helps protect users against advanced methods used by malicious apps to avoid detection. This is particularly important for Android users who sideload apps from third-party sources.
TechCrunch reporters tested the new protection against over 30 different malicious Android apps and found that it successfully blocked stalkerware and spyware, but some fraudulent loan apps were not stopped. This enhanced protection was initially launched in India, where unlicensed predatory loan apps have caused significant problems. However, it is important to note that Google Play Protect is not infallible, as evidenced by a recent incident where it mistakenly flagged Samsung Messages and Samsung Wallet apps as “harmful.”
– Mobile security threats should be taken as seriously as those on traditional PCs.
– Google Play Protect is Android’s built-in defense against malware.
– Real-time app scanning capability has been added to enhance protection against malicious apps.
– Google Play Protect is not infallible and may have false positives or false negatives.