Science

Google took down 700000 bad apps in 2017

Google took down 700000 bad apps in 2017

"A year ago we've more than halved the probability of a user installing a bad app, protecting people and their devices from harm's way, and making Google Play a more challenging place for those who seek to abuse the app ecosystem for their own gain". The vast majority of these malicious apps (99 percent), never made it into the store and was outright rejected by Google's algorithms and security teams. Further, more and more integration is going to take place between several Google products into the mainstream Google App on Android. Google also admitted that some malicious apps will fall through the cracks and make it on the Play Store, as no review system is flawless. If the app is not safe, Play Protect will prevent you from downloading the app most of the time.

A major reason for this is the "massive scale and the global reach of Google Play make the platform a target for bad actors", according to Google. Files Go is available widely for Android devices. However, it appears that Google is making inroads in taking out those kinds of apps before they are downloaded to the billions of Android users. Google removed over a quarter of a million of these impersonating apps previous year. Even though Google Play Protect is good at catching a lot of these malicious apps, sometimes they still get through. Machine learning is a huge part of all of this, because it adds another layer of protection when manually reviewing apps are just not enough.

Google has historically had a problem with copycat apps that contain malware. Tens of thousands of apps featuring inappropriate content like pornography, extreme violence, hate and illegal activities were also pulled. Lastly, a new "Open With" flow lets users choose the app that they want a file to be opened with. Potentially Harmful Applications are those that try to get your personal information. Are you anxious about the number of apps being removed from Google Play Store?

Google says it was able to eliminate more than 99% of the offending apps before a single Android user was able to install them on your phone. Over the years, this commitment has made Google Play a more trusted and safer place.


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