Several data stealing smartphone apps are disguised and uploaded to the PlayStore. These applications are named and made with seemingly useful features but hidden with personal information stealing commands.
The malware makers capitalize on the fact that smartphone users give permission to such applications to access some information without knowing. After installation, the applications displays features related to it’s name – could be a wallpaper app – but later initiates the process to steal and share personal information.
Some of these applications lock the home screen of the smartphone and ask the user to pay a ransom or risk sending their information to contacts on the smartphone.
Google Play Protect is a great development for smartphone users. Just before I go further, Apple has also launched a security update that fixes a bug which enables hackers to gain access to your iOS device via Wi-Fi.
Google Play Protect uses machine learning to detect malicious apps and remove them from the device. Play protect also keeps your device safe so you do not install any more of these data stealing and malicious applications.
With Google Play Protect, Google is now able to scan over 50 billion applications in 24 hours; the harmful applications are identified and removed.
The new security system will be integrated into all devices with Google Play. Users don’t need to worry about managing it. The system updates itself, and is always scanning the device, keeping it safe from malware and data stealing apps.
Google Play Protect runs at the background but users also have the option of scanning their devices anytime they want.
Google Play Protect also works on the Google Chrome browser on your device. It keeps the device safe from websites “acting out of line” and also warns the user of potentially harmful websites.
How to check for Play Protect on your device
First of all you would need to make sure your Google Play Store is up to date
- Open Play Store app
- Then Click on the Menu icon
- Then Click on Play Protect icon
- You can manage your Play Protect options from there.
How to Update Your Play Store App
- Open Play Store app
- Tap the menu icon
- Select Settings
- Scroll down to about and select Play Store Version
- Play store app will be updated
- For some devices, click OK on the pop up to update. If the device is up to date, you will get a notification telling you that Play Store is up to date.
You should also be sure your Android device software is up to date. Make sure you check for your device ‘s security patch level also.
To check for this;
- Open device Settings
- Select about phone or tablet
- Scroll down to Android Security Patch level. The date displayed shows the last time you got a security update.
Updates might take some time to reach some devices.
If your device can’t get Play Protect right away, I suggest you get some snacks while you wait for a couple of days or weeks – and get enough snacks.
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