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Google Reports Flat-lined Android Malware In 2015, Less Than 0.15% Of Devices Limited To Google Play Were Infected

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Google released its Android Security Annual report, a summary of the overall security wins and losses of its Android services over the previous year, on Tuesday. There were many interesting figures in the report, but the most eye-catching one was that users with Google Play limited devices downloaded “fewer than 0.15 percent” harmful apps in 2015.

The company’s previous security summary also had indicated the same number.

Further, the company talked about its Verify Apps service, which checks if 3rd party apps are harmful or not. According to the web giant, the service has now got an efficiency boost of over 50 percent. Over the last year, the company has seen an increase in the number of Potentially Harmful Apps (PHA) install attempts outside of Google Play. This holds to show why the company wants to increase the quality of its security. Apparently, about 0.5 percent of devices had a PHA installed during 2015 across all devices in the Android ecosystem with Google’s services.

This number is reported to be similar to last year’s figure.

Not all security improvements are technical in nature. Some of them come from understanding user behavior and making the easiest choice also the safest. In late 2015, we made several changes to the Verify Apps warning dialog to make it easy for users to proceed with the safe option of not installing a PHA.

Google writes in the report.

We added a red icon with an exclamation mark to signal to the user that this dialog needs their full attention. We also moved the option to proceed with installation under a cut to prevent cases where a user clicks OK without fully reading what the dialog says.

The company has also taken it upon itself to protect users downloading apps from other sources. “It’s critical that we protect users that install apps from sources other than Google Play as well,” Google declared. This will be particularly beneficial for Android users in markets like China where Play services are not available and for users whose devices don’t come with Play services as default.

A daily scan of devices also revealed that the tech giant protected Android users from malware and other PHAs very efficiently in 2015. The company, reportedly, scanned over 6 billion installed apps per day over 400 million devices for network­-based and on­-device threats.

Other analytics show a decline in the probability of installing a PHA from Google Play by over 40 percent compared to 2014.

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