Posted On 19 Sep 2019
Google has been upgrading Google Play Protect in order to give better protection to Android users faced with malicious applications, although whether these are sufficient remains to be seen.
Google launched Play Protect in 2017 with the intention of protecting Android users against any undesirable or malicious applications available in the Google Play store or via third parties. When turned on, Google Play Protect will run apps from the Google Play Store through a safety check prior to downloading, check user devices for malware downloaded from other sources, warn users about possibly harmful apps and help them to remove them, and gives a warning about any apps that are in violation of the company’s Unwanted Software Policy by concealing or being misleading about any important information. Google claim that Play Protect continually seeks out any malware in the Play Store and is protecting 2 billion unique user devices each day.
In the last 12 months extra features have been added to Play Protect to try and combat what appears to be a never-ending tide of malware entering the Google Play store. Firstly, anyone using Google Play will now find that Play Protect is on by default when you visit; this can be confirmed by tapping the menu bars in the Play Store and selecting Play Protect.
Google has also announced that the system will give a warning to users if they choose to open new android apps, or older ones that have not been used very much. As an app becomes more popular, if it does not receive complaints then the warnings will cease.
Additionally, Google has created a warning that will appear when any app that seems likely to harvest personal information, damage users’ devices or add unauthorized charges is opened, although some users are asking why, if Google suspect an app is doing this, the app is not simply deleted from the app store. It has been suggested that simply relying on automated systems is not satisfactory and that Google should be increasing the number of human reviewers they employ and being more proactive about deleting malicious apps, rather than allowing them on the system then issuing automatic warnings.