In an industry that is flooded with hackers, there is always the threat of a security breach for anyone that uses technology. Whether in the form of getting information or personal photos, there are certain ways to work through the system. Google, as one of the industry's leading players, has made it a priority to keep its devices and those using them safe from these harms.
As Forbes has reported, a man by the name of Adrian Ludwig joined Google over six years ago. His job, which is arguably one of the most daunting ones in existence, is to ensure the security of Android devices. Today, the number of Android devices, from smartphones to laptops and media players, has grown to about 1.6 billion, which makes his job even more difficult. And yet the publication has noted that these units are more secure than ever before.
And while this can be said, there is no denying that there is still Android malware within the system, although that number is, in the bigger picture, a small one. Google's 2015 statistics show that only around 0.5 percent of all Android devices have encountered a potential harmful application (PHA). And with one feature alone, this small number drops another significant amount.
Android has a basic security feature, where users can opt to turn on an "unknown sources" setting. What this does is remove all applications and games that cannot be downloaded and installed through Google Play. When this feature is turned, the number of devices hit by PHA drop to just 0.15 percent.
The publication spoke with Ludwig and he was adamant that the numbers will fall this year. "It's not an accident that bad things aren't happening," he told them. One smart move that the company has made is to make its default security settings the best and safest ones it can offer. Three years ago, only 50 percent of Android devices were encrypted. That number has since increased to 80 percent.
So one of the best ways to keep an Android device safe is to keep updating its operating system as soon as Google roll them out. Google has an exceptional relationship with its partners, both from the device production and wireless carrier segments. The company has made it easier for these parties to deploy and maintain apps, thereby making it easier to push out necessary updates.
Greenbot noted that another feature from Google that significantly decreases malware is Verify Apps. However, up until recently, the feature has been a behind the scenes service. However, this has begun to change as the search engine giant has begun to show the hard work that the feature has put in making sure that Android devices are not negatively affected.
Google has tweaked the menu on the devices' settings to display some information about what is happening. Instead of an option in the Security menu, Verify Apps now has its own tab. Tapping on it will show two toggles that will allow the scanning of the device for security threats and the other to improve on any harmful app detections.