After giving us the first Android Security State of the Union last year, Google is back today to give us an update on the state of Android security.
Google reports that over the last year, it checked more than 6 billion installed apps every day to protect users from malware and other potentially harmful apps. It also spent time scanning devices — 400 million devices every day, to be precise — to protect users from network and on-device attacks. Chrome did its part, too, protecting users from unsafe websites with its Safe Browsing feature.
Google also spent time beefing up Google Play’s security by making it harder for potentially harmful apps to get into the store and make their way onto unsuspecting users’ devices. The improvements rolled out by Google make it 40 percent less likely that a user will install a potentially harmful app compared to last year. Overall, potentially harmful apps were installed on fewer than 0.15 percent of devices that only get apps from Google Play, while around 0.5 percent of devices that install apps from the Play Store and other sources encountered a potentially harmful app.
Finally, Google has been updating Android itself to help protect users from harmful apps. That includes offering improved app permissions so that you can manage the data that an app has access to, as well as launching a monthly public security update program for the Android Open Source Project and a security update cycle for Nexus hardware.
Many people use their smartphone or tablet as a primary computer and store personal data on those devices, so it’s they need to be protected from malicious apps that might try to steal that data or do harm to their phone. It’s good that Google continues to take steps to beef up the security of the Android platform and the devices that are part of that platform, and considering that Android is the most widely-used mobile OS in the world, expect Google to continue to make Android more secure and protect its users from harmful attacks.
If you'd like to read the full Android Security 2015 Year In Review, you can find it here.