How-to

Google Play Protect on Android Provides Improved Security

The Google Play Protect service scans your incoming and installed apps for malware and provides remote security for your lost or stolen phone.

Google Play Protect is a security platform that provides malware protection for apps, nefarious websites, and device protection if it’s lost or stolen. It was originally promoted alongside the release of Android 8.0 Oreo but has since rolled out to older devices. Here’s a look at what it does and how to use it.

Enable Google Play Protect

To turn it on and manage its settings, navigate to Settings > Google > Security > Google Play Protect and simply turn on the “Scan device for security threats” switch.

1 Google Security Settings

There you get a list of recently scanned apps, and a green check if everything is good to go. While Play Protect runs automatically in the background — 24/7 — you can kick off a manual scan at any time.

Another component of Google Play Protect is the Find My Device feature. This lets you locate your lost or stolen phone and lock or wipe it if necessary. Note that you will need Location Services enabled to use it. While it’s useful for the times when you can’t find your phone around the house. But it’s also a powerful security mechanism that will let you lock your phone remotely, display a message on the lock screen, or completely erase it will all your data.

Just like its desktop counterpart, Safe Browsing protection for Chrome is incorporated. If you try to go to a site that’s potentially unsafe, you will get an alert screen and can leave or, if you know the site is safe, you can go into advanced settings to get there anyway. A lot of times you will get a message like this if a site’s SSL cert has expired.

Surf Safe Android Chrome

I used to run Avast Mobile Security on my Android devices in the past. But with this new suite of security, I have been using Play Protect exclusively and have had no issues. It’s kind of like with Windows Defender in Windows 10, I don’t feel the need to install a third-party antivirus utility like Norton. When started using it when I got Android 8.0 Oreo and later it came to my older HTC phone running Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Check out the following promotional video from Google that shows how the Play Protect feature works by keeping your device secure.

Do you use Google Play Protect on your Android device exclusively, or do you supplement with second security app? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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