Android literally has billions of users across the globe, and with a community so large of both developers and regular users, security is an important piece of the ecosystem. Google has always wanted to make sure that security is at the forefront of Android as a platform, and they’re committed to ensuring that they follow through with their goal to keep it a secure place to work, play, and enjoy everything that Android has to offer. This morning Google released a report called Android State of The Union 2014, which focuses on insights about security of the Android ecosystem gathered by Google as they analyzed billions of different data points every day over the past year.
The underlying goal of Google’s security efforts is to help users avoid risk and stay secure when they use their devices every single day. There are lots of data-driven decisions that go into making Android a safe place for everyone, which includes things like conducting security scans for applications in the Play Store. According to Google’s report, the Play Store conducts 200 million daily scans of applications to verify their safety for download and installation by users. That’s a ton of scans per day let alone over an entire year. Google aims to be more proactive with scans and app audits this year by ramping up the reviewing process for apps across the broad spectrum of violations to make sure things are up to code.
These scans helped to lower the overall harmful application install rate, which Google points out has dropped by almost 50% from the first quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2014, and that fewer than 1% of Android devices had a potentially harmful app installed last year. Less than 0.15% had potentially harmful apps installed that came from Google Play, which only further strengthens the idea that if you stick to Google Play for app downloads, you as a user are far less likely to encounter malicious and harmful applications that put your personal data at risk. Better security with Google Play is great, but Google is committed to the whole of Android and the security of their users on the ecosystem, which includes the environment outside of Google Play as well. As part of their goals for better security across the board, Google is increasing their efforts to bring better security to mobile devices and regions that pose a higher risk to the secure platform Google has built a foundation on.
Google has introduced other features and functions as part of the OS to help keep users secure on their devices, like multi-user, restricted profiles, and guest modes for devices, improved full disk encryption of devices running Android 5.0 and improved authentication for smartphones and tablets with things like the smart lock features such as trusted devices for user with Android 5.0 forward. For the full report on Google’s security efforts for the Android ecosystem, you can click on the source below.