One of the big worries for most people on Android is malware. We’ve all seen the reports on the amount of malware that lands on Android. Not to mention the security vulnerabilities that appear on the platform. Google has been working to minimize the malware on Android, but it doesn’t seem to making much of a dent. Google released their Android Security report for 2015 today, and in that report, they stated that they scanned over 6 billion Android apps per day throughout the year. In these scans, Google is looking for potentially harmful apps or PHA’s.
Google notes that they protected users with scanning nearly 400 million devices per day. This was protection from network-based and on-device threats. They also note that they protected hundreds of millions of Chrome users on Android from unsafe websites. In 2015, the Google Play and Google Security team made it more difficult for PHA’s to make their way into Google Play. Stating that the Potentially Harmful Apps in the store have decreased by over 40% compared to 2014. They also note that data collection has decreased 40% to 0.08% of installs. Spyware decreased 60% to 0.02% of installs and hostile downloader decreased 50% to 0.01 of installs.
While Android isn’t 100% safe from harmful apps such as spyware, malware and such, it is definitely getting safer. No platform will ever be 100% safe from these types of apps, but it is nice to see Google taking a stance on them. Looking at the stats we mentioned above, the likelihood of you getting infected with malware or spyware on your Android device, is pretty low. But it’s still important to download apps from reputable places. Obviously we would recommend only downloading them from Google Play. But the Amazon App Store or Amazon Underground as it is now called, is another good, safe place to download apps. It’s important to avoid downloading APK’s. Seeing as you don’t know what has been done to these APK’s and they could have been tampered with. While Google does scan APK’s that are sideloaded on your device, the scanner can miss stuff. So it’s important to only download from the Google Play Store.