With so many malicious applications sneaking onto people’s devices lately, Google has stepped up their security game by rolling out a much more visible suite of security functions and services called Google Play Protect. This comprehensive protection will be rolled out, free of charge, to every device that uses the Google Play Store.
The suite revolves around a few key components and services: app scanning and anti-theft measures. The app scanning service, which has been around for years, uses advanced technology and machine learning to scan over 5 billion apps a day to make sure that no harmful apps make it through to the Play Store. This service is always running (on Google’s servers and your device), constantly scanning apps to keep you and your data safe.
Another major component of Google Play Protect, which involves anti-theft measures, is technically a re-branding of Google’s Android Device Manager. This service is now called Find My Device, and is now available as a separate app in the Play Store. All the same functionality is included: GPS-based device tracking, remote device locking/erasing, and the ability to show a message on the screen or play a loud sound. If you’re reading this on your phone, click here to get the app from the Play Store. Otherwise, just search for “Find My Device.”
Another visible change that Google has implemented is called Verify Apps. This is an extension of the App Scanning process that Google has used on their end for years, but now it can be found on your device. Simply pull down the top bar (from the top of your device screen) and touch the Gear icon to access the system settings. From here, touch the section called Google, then Security, then touch “Verify Apps.” This action usually runs regularly at certain intervals or whenever you download an app from the Play Store, but you can run it whenever you want.