And in just a couple of months, the tech giant has made it available for all their mobile users.
Play Protect is the amalgamation of Google’s Android security features, such as Verify Apps and Bouncer, and it’s integrated into the Google Play Store app. As such, users don’t need to look up, download, and install a separate app.
Here’s how Play Protect works:
- It scans and verifies all apps in the Google Play Store before users can download them. It also periodically scans for all apps already installed on the Android device.
- For apps downloaded from third-party stores, Play Protect scans and monitors them around the clock for any change in behavior. This is handy for those apps that appear normal at first but then starts misbehaving, like inconspicuously downloading malicious components. If a potentially harmful app is detected, Play Protect does two things: (1) disables it or (2) issues a warning to users about it.
- It implements an anti-theft feature called Find My Device (formerly Android Device Manager). If the device—phone, tablet, or smartwatch—cannot be claimed back, this also allows the owner to lock it or wipe data stored in it.
- Its Safe Browsing feature stops users from landing into dubious destinations when browsing the Web via Chrome.
- It constantly auto-updates so users don’t have to do it manually.
The system behind Play Protect uses machine learning to enable itself to continuously improve in protecting Android users.
Users can access and customize the settings of Play Protect by going to Settings>Google>Security>Verify Apps.
Stay safe, everyone!
The Malwarebytes Labs