Google Play Services update to tighten Android security

According to Computerworld, Google is all set to update Google Play services in the next few weeks to tighten Android security. This means Android will be secured from malwares and other threats directly from the OS and users will have to rely less on anti-malware apps.

Malware has always been a concern for Android users and many reports have suggested Android receives the maximum number of threats as compared to other operating systems. While Google’s large market share will definitely affect these numbers, the customization options available to the user on Android are far more than any other mobile operating system out there. For example, if a user side loads an app, the app won’t be checked by Google and there are chances that it might have some malware code. Such careless side loading can lead to problems like personal data theft, deletion of important documents etc.

However, the latest update to Google’s Play services will solve this problem. Currently, Google’s Android security server scans all the codes on the apps uploaded on the play store. The company keeps a check on the malware codes on the internet and cross checks the apps for these codes. Even while installing, the verify app feature checks the app for any malicious code and only if it’s clean, the system will install it on the device.

This feature which was introduced back in 2012 seemed to have solved the problem of nefarious apps, at least to an extent, but there was one particular drawback with this process. If a malware code was not known to the company at the time of scanning the app, it could easily get pass the security net, thereby risking the privacy of the user. Although, that happens rarely as Google frequently updates the code, it was a possibility.

Google’s potential solution is based on the same concept, i.e. scanning apps for malware codes, but instead of just checking it at the start, the system will now scan the app continuously to keep a check on nefarious activity. The update will run this security service on the phone always, protecting the user 24 x 7 from such threats. So even if an app bypasses the first stage, eventually it will be caught.

Google will release the update universally to all Android users with version 2.3 and above. Manufacturers and carriers don’t have to worry about the update as it will happen automatically and users probably won’t even know it.

While the solution relies on Google’s ability to identify malicious codes well in advance, it is still a giant leap from the current security protection on Android. More details will be revealed as Google officially announces about the update in the coming weeks.

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About the author

Joel is an experienced blogger who covers all kinds of news relating to tech. He is a huge fan of Android and can be seen playing around with his phone in his spare time.