Play Protect will help shore up modern versions of Android against cyber security threats
Google has started to roll out its Play Protect security features to Android, which are designed to give users more transparent and robust security for their smartphones and tablets.
Showcased at Google I/O 2017 as a new security feature for Android O, the next version of Google’s mobile operating system, Play Protect is being rolled out to other versions of Android to bolster the security of the platform that is often maligned with malicious apps.
In many ways Play Protect is simply a re-branding of the security services found in Android devices, but Google has packaged them in a more obvious fashion and is rolling them out to the Play Services app and the Play Store shortly after.
Play Protect works by automatically scanning apps that are being downloaded and installed from the Play Store to ensure there is no malicious code lurking behind seemingly harmless apps.
Apps that may appear to be a risk to the Android device are blocked from being installed on the devices or if they are already on it they get removed.
Play Protect also has a homepage that provides an at-a-glance view of the apps it has scanned and the current cyber security health of the Android smartphone or tablet being used.
Such a feature is not likely to concern general smartphone users, but people using Android phones for business where they may have to access sensitive data, will likely be grateful to have a means by which to view how secure their device is before accessing sensitive data.
An interesting but not so obvious feature of Play Protect is how it uses machine learning to spot new cyber threats and defend against them.
However, Play Protect is not likely to be the silver bullet against mobile threats, but it goes some way to helping bolster Android against the myriad of threats it often faces.