The Google Play Store, just like the Apple App Store is plagued with counterfeit app. Developers are known to create clones of popular app, include ads, and then wait for unsuspecting users to download them. This is obviously one of the better scenarios with counterfeit apps. Developers may likewise inject malicious scripts in an app and after that upload it to the Google Play Store. The average users don’t have any given way to tell if an app is malicious or not. It is things like this that give Android the reputation that it’s not safe. To battle this, Google has announced Google Play Protect for Android. It’s a scan that is run on all apps on your device to ensure they’re protected.
Google Play Protect for Android is available to all Android users. It can scan apps that you download from the Google Play Store and also apps that you side-loaded.
Enable Google Play Protect
Open the Settings app and go to Security & Location>Google Play Protect. Tap it and turn on the ‘Scan devices for security threats’ option. also, by default and with this particular option switched off, Google Play Protect scans apps downloaded from the Play Store. When you enable the ‘Scan devices for security threats’, options it starts scanning apps that were side-loaded.
There is also an option to ‘Improve harmful app detection’. If you enable it, you’re sharing your data with Google. It will enable Google to improve its threat detection over the long run but won’t enable any extra security for your phone.
Google Play Protect won’t automatically remove any harmful apps it finds but it will alert you when it discovers something suspicious. It is then up to you to remove the app.
No File Scanning
Google Play Protect is strictly for apps and not for files you have on your device. Android device can store any type of file. You can download files to your device’s storage or copy them from your desktop. If you happen to download a file that is malicious, Play Protect won’t be able to do anything about it. This is not like the normal system antivirus. It’s protection against malicious apps. It will run periodic scans on your device to guarantee you don’t have anything malicious and it will likewise check links you visit in Chrome. If you’re about to visit a potentially harmful link in Chrome, you will see a familiar warning alerting you the site isn’t safe.
This is a very positive step by Google however it still needs to address the counterfeit and sub-par apps in the Google Play Store.