About 0,5 Percent of Apps Scanned in Google Play are Risky, According to Google
- Arya Wibowo
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In a sharing session by Adrian Ludwig, Google Director of Android Security, he shared about the new feature of Android security, Google Play Protect, and interesting data about security.
On 10 October 2017, Google invited the press to attend a sharing session about Android security. Adrian Ludwig, Google Director of Android Security presented to us by video conference with the press from other South East Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. They also talked about their new feature, Google Play Protect, which they claim will give more security and information to Android users. We also had a Q&A session.
According to Adrian, as you can see in the image below, right now Android has more than 1.4 billion 30-day active users, 400+ OEMs (manufacturers) developing for Android, and 1.5 million devices activated daily.
As for Google Play, right now it has more than 65 billion app installs, more than 1 million apps available, and more than 1 billion 30-day active users of Google Apps. Thus, making it the largest distribution platform in the world.
So by being the most popular mobile platform and distribution platform, Android and Google Play surely have big threats on security. As an act of security improvement, Google launched a new security featured called Google Play Protect.
Does it mean that previously Android devices aren’t protected? No, according to Adrian, Google has always been protecting Android devices in the background, scanning and removing dangerous apps without us knowing it. But in Google Play Protect, Android users will be more informed of threats, this feature also acts as the “UI” for security, so users know that they are protected.
Google Play Protect will be available for all Android devices, even with old versions like Ginger Bread.
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From Google’s data, right now there are 2+ billion devices protected around the world, with 1+ billion device scans per day. They also scan 50 billion of apps per day.
As for security updates, each OEM has different frequency according to their partnership with Google and their policy. Google Nexus and Pixel, for example, gets the most frequent security updates which are monthly. For other OEMs, the updates are done in various frequency, from monthly to quarterly basis.
In the Q&A session, Adrian was asked the number of suspicious apps that scanned by Google. Adrian revealed the percentage, he said that last year it has a 0.5 percent rate of apps that have deemed suspicious by Google which got into Google Play Store. This year, he said, hopefully, there will be improvement up to only half of the previous number.
Asked about the behavior of users in terms of security in different countries, Adrian said that every country has some differences. A country can have users who use the screen lock feature with the rate of 95 percent, where another country only 50 percent. In Russia, 3 to 4 years ago, the malware risk was ten times from other countries.
Adrian also adds that the diversity of Android devices, with so many OEMs using it, is also an advantage in security point of view. It causes malware or viruses more difficulty to infect other Android devices.
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Top 5 Tips to Stay Safe on Your Mobile
In the end of his presentation, Adrian shared some top tips for us to be safe using mobile devices:
- Use a secure lock screen!
- Make sure you’ve enabled data backups
- Download apps from a recognized app store
- Make sure Google Play Protect and Find My Device are enabled
- Turn on 2-factor authentication for Google Services
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