Google launches Play Protect to keep your devices safe from malicious apps

By : |July 24, 2017 0

At this year’s Google IO Developer conference in May, Google talked about a number of security related tools to make the Android OS safer. Now walking the talk, the search engine company has launched Google Play Protect, a new security tool that will automatically scan your Android device to identify and flag malicious apps. To ensure you don’t download such apps, it will vet every app developer and app on the Play Store.

Google already analyzes privacy and security signals for every app on the Play Store. For this, it created peer groups of apps belonging to a particular category. So if an app steps out of line and asks for a permission which its peer apps don’t have, it will be flagged.

However, a new machine learning algorithm is at the heart of Play Protect. It uses deep learning methods to identify peer groups of apps with similar functionality. It will not only use app category for reference but app metadata, text descriptions, user metrics and the number of installs as well. The peer groups will then be put under the scanner together to detect potentially harmful signals and eventually identify an app which poses a security or privacy risk. This allows Google to identify harmless looking apps in which a malicious code is introduced through updates at a later stage.

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Play Protect is integrated into Google Play app and gets a dedicated page where you can learn more about it. To access the Google Play Protect, go to Google Play app–> Security–> Verify apps.

Google has also provided the additional feature of safe browsing. It is a built-in tool in Chrome browser which can protect users from visiting any potentially risky website. Initially, Google Play Protect was released for a limited range of users, but now it is globally available and guarantees optimal security for all the installed apps on Android systems. You will need Google Play Services’ version 11 on your device to use this new feature.

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