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Here’s how Google Play scans your Android phone

Google has a complement enacted by Google Play for Android inclination called Verify Apps. Google’s latest Android Security State of a Union (for a year 2014) includes construction on what a association is scanning on your phone – both inside Google Play-downloaded apps and in apps you’ve downloaded elsewhere. Verify Apps scans your phone’s apps for confidence risks in Google Play apps, and Safety Net provides insurance for (and from) apps outward of Google Play. Yes, Google Play is scanning your phone – no, it’s not something to weird out about.


Google Play app scanning

Inside your Android smartphone or tablet, if it has Google Play and runs Android 4.2 or later, Verify Apps is tough during work providing we with confidence services.


This scanning program is acid for Potentially Harmful Applications, also famous as PHAs.

Google suggests that a PHA is “any focus that can potentially mistreat a user, their device, or their data.”


The initial step in this is app scanning before apps are downloaded from Google Play, as partial of a focus confidence examination process.

“Google’s systems use appurtenance training to see patterns and make connectors that humans would not,” says Google’s 2014 confidence news on Android. “Google Play analyzes millions of information points, item nodes, and attribute graphs to build a high-precision security-detection system.”

Fourteen opposite categories used for classifications of PHAs were in use by Google as of 11/1/2014.

• Generic PHA
• Phishing
• Rooting Malicious
• Ransomware
• Rooting
• SMS Fraud
• Backdoor
• Spyware
• Trojan
• Harmful Site
• Windows Threat
• Non-Android Threat
• WAP Fraud
• Call Fraud

Have we never seen a warning from Google about any of a above? You’re not alone. According to Google, “the immeasurable infancy of focus installs are not personal as potentially harmful, so for many installations, a users of Verify Apps will see zero displayed during a time of install.”


Verify Apps worked with Android inclination downloaded from Google Play good before a start of 2014. Starting in 2014, Google extended their scanning program apartment with a underline called “Safety Net.”

Non-Google Play scanning with Safety Net

Safety Net is partial of Verify Apps, providing confidence scanning for all apps, regardless of source of install. Safety Net also “detects and protects opposite non app-based confidence threats such as network attacks.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 during 12.54.41 PM

Above you’ll see a draft display expansion in installs checked by Verify Apps in 2014. This includes confidence checks before to announcement for all apps published to Google Play as good as “millions of installs per day from outward of Google Play.”

How mostly is my device being scanned?

According to Google, “by default, device scans are run approximately once per week.” They supplement that this is usually by default, and not always loyal of any device.

Running once per week, pronounced Google, “initially introduced periodic use spikes that have been gradually private by introducing randomness into a report for any device.”


The draft we see above shows how many millions of inclination were scanned by a year 2014. The drop in time in Jun is due to a exam Google ran during a time, during that inclination were still stable with Verify Apps during implement time.

What information is being collected?

Google suggests that Verify Apps “only collects information indispensable to yield and urge device security.” Limited in nature, that is.

Continuing that thought, Google says that Verify Apps “does not entrance any personal information, nor does it check a earthy plcae of a device.”

Scans during Install doesn’t check earthy location, though it does check “locale.” Locale information is used by Google to yield scold denunciation and denunciation characteristics to users for app warnings.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 during 1.04.25 PM

This information also allows Google to make fun charts like a one we see above. Look during all a information though numbers!

Why have we not listened of this before?

Because confidence isn’t exciting. Because it’d be crazy to make a blog dedicated to Android confidence alone. Because when a good confidence complement is doing a pursuit correctly, we don’t even comprehend it’s there.

We’ve got reports like this one from Apr of 2014 when Google initial combined continual Android app scans in Verify Apps – though again, it’s nothing too sparkling for a ubiquitous public.

How do we spin scanning off?

After all that, we wish to spin it off? You stupid goose. Lucky you, Google appears to be all about options still, so if we feel so inclined, we can do a following:

1. Open Google Settings – strike a app by-pass symbol or entrance by your pull-down options menu.
2. Tap “Security.”
3. Tap a on/off symbol for “Scan device for confidence threats.”
4. Good luck.

NOTE: If you’re regulating a non-Nexus phone (most of you), we competence see a choice seem as “Verify apps: Block or advise before installing” – or something similar.


If we do select to spin this choice off, let us know why. We’d adore to have a discuss about it!

Article source: http://www.slashgear.com/is-google-play-scanning-my-android-phone-02377123/

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