Google explains how Android safety features protect you from mobile fraud apps
In recent years, Google has been putting a lot of effort into enhancing Android security to prevent users from being victims of attacks by malicious elements. Our smartphones are practically our ‘do-it-all’ tools these days, even keeping our sensitive passwords, so the security section is essential.
If you want to know what the current Android safety features against fraud apps are, a new post on the official Google blog sheds more light on the matter, and here we have made a summary. Continue reading to find out all the details.
These are the main Android safety features against fraud apps
Malicious elements could use multiple methods to try to breach your device security and access your personal data. Among the most common methods are malicious apps, phishing, or even potential hacks. However, Android currently has multiple tools that serve as a shield against these attacks.
Google Phone, Messages and Gmail apps: anti-fraud tools
Some of the anti-malicious attacks tools are integrated into Google Apps themselves, like Phone and Messages.
For example, Google Phone app includes built-in caller ID, spam protection and even Call Screen, tools that together warn you of potential dangerous calls once you receive them. If you have a Pixel phone, Call Screen can answer the call for you.
Meanwhile, Google Messages and Gmail apps can warn you of (or directly block) potentially dangerous messages that ask you for actions such as clicking on a particular link.
Protection during web browsing through Google Chrome
Browsing the Internet is one of the situations where individuals are most exposed to potential attacks. With this in mind, Google Safe Browsing suite includes some barriers that warn you about downloading and installing apps that could take control of your device.
For example, it could happen that, without you realizing it, a website tries to start the download and installation of an APK on your phone. However, while using the Chrome app, you will encounter warnings about APK download attempts, and the need for you to approve the APK installation permission from the browser.
Google Play Protect: a security layer at OS-level
Google Play Protect is another tool to help you against this type of danger, and unlike the previous ones, you do not need a specific Google app since it comes standard in the OEM Android builds. This one can analyze each app you try to install, letting you know if it is potentially dangerous for your security according to the extensive Google database.
The company is even working on rolling out a ‘real-time scan’ feature, which can also be applied to apps that have not been scanned before. Currently, this feature is available in countries such as India, Singapore, Brazil, and Thailand.
Restrictions on apps installed from unknown sources
Also, since Android 13, apps installed from unknown sources are restricted from making changes to certain critical settings. One of the most ‘attacked’ settings is accessibility access, so if a third-party app asks you for that permission, you better think twice before granting it.
Make sure you only grant these types of permissions to apps from trusted sources.
You still have the final decision
That said, Google tries to offer all of these security tools while keeping the system open to third-party apps. This means that, after receiving multiple warnings about a malicious app, in the end you will have the last word on the installation or granting of permissions.
Therefore, it is also necessary for the user to be aware that they can receive this type of attacks from time to time, and that they themselves can be the last barrier against them.