The secret antivirus of your Android mobile: Google Play Protect

Among the many tools that make up Android phones, there is a security function that has been with us for several generations and that tries to save us from problems. This protection measure is called Google Play Protect and although your mobile probably integrates it, it is likely that you have never seen it.

This Android security system is launched as soon as we turn on our mobile for the first time without having to accept any type of change or make a modification. However, if we want to be exposed, we can change the preferences. Everything Google Play Protect does for us is based on advanced technology.

All about Google Play Protect

The first thing we must know about this security characteristic of Android terminals, is that it is an integrated system in mobiles with Android Stock and also in smartphones that enjoy some layer of customization. There are few models that are exempt from this system, although we will know it in depth later. The great advantage debuted in 2017 with the Google Pixel XL, a great change that began a long history, where however this system has not changed much at first glance, since improvements have been applied inside.

This tool, however, was not the first time that it was seen, since previously Google treated it as an external app and that it had no integration in our smartphone. With that change, they somehow ensure that Android smartphones are not homeless. Its main functions can be divided into several sections, such as the following:

  • Checking applications.
  • Protection when browsing the internet.
  • Control of the data and permissions required by the tools.

A series of measures that seek to offer the greatest protection to Android mobiles with the collection of data in common from all smartphones. In this way, even if we do not have a specific app, the system recognizes a violation of the permissions on another smartphone and will remove it from Google Play so that no one else can install it and suffer problems of this type.

He is continuously learning and giving life to an artificial intelligence that works for us. If we are directly affected by the security or privacy problem, an alert will be triggered for you to install the app, exit the process or stop it in some way. If necessary, Google Play Protect can also try to root out the problem by forcing it to stop.

The security measure is applied to the web pages, trying to analyze at all times the processes or files that the webs may try to send to the smartphone. With Google Play Protect browsing will be safer, regardless of the browser from which we do it, because under all those that are available in the application stores, there is the protection of this measure.

Does my mobile include this antivirus?

Most likely, if you have an Android smartphone, you have the antivirus on your mobile. To check this, you only have to enter Settings> Security and we can see the access to Google Play Protect where it will notify us that we are protected. Anyway, there are cases in which although we have an Android mobile, we do not have that security for one reason or another.

The first case for which we would not have this integrated function is because the mobile has not been certified by Google. A certification that is present in the main mobile brands, but not in those that, for example, do not have an official presence in Spain or Europe. That is why we must move away from acquiring unknown brands or getting mobile phones outside our borders.

Another case that can leave us without certification is not having Google services. This is where Huawei phones that are affected by the measures imposed in the United States and that therefore integrate EMUI’s own security measure, but not Google Play Protect, sneak in. However, if at any time we dare to install Google services, we will get Google Play Protect and it will work without any problem.

How to set up Google Play Protect

The steps to be able to make the small modifications that the Google security system allows are very easy. To get to the options, unlike what had to be done previously, where we had to go to Google Play, now everything is in the smartphone settings. Therefore, what we will do is enter Settings> Security. From here we will see when the last application analysis was done.

Upon entering this window, we will find the option to perform an analysis manually and in the upper right we see the wheel with the settings. From these, we will be able to activate or deactivate these parameters:

  • Scan apps with Play Protect: the option to enable or disable app scan from the Google app store. Without this option enabled, no app will be scanned before being installed or later to find errors.
  • Improve the detection of harmful applications: with this average, all the apps that are not part of Google Play will be analyzed so that the system is able to know if they are harmful to the mobile, even if they have come from external methods.

Is this security system infallible?

Although it is very helpful and useful for Android phones, it is not a method that offers continuous protection on Android. Being in the terminal we can be very calm with the apps that we install from Google Play and from some application stores that also have access to the Play Protect security measure. However, it will not always be able to ensure the necessary security in apps that are installed from external sources.

Although we have seen that there is an option that will also analyze those apps, their data collection and report cannot be created instantly and if that app has a failure or problem, we will suffer it. Therefore, we must combine this security measure with common sense and in any case not try to install files that we do not know where they come from or even visit websites that ask us to accept files.

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