How to make sure your apps are safe with Google Play Protect

By now, you should be very aware that Google has worked tirelessly to introduce a new system that will go a very long way to protect your device(s) from malicious software. That system is Google Play Protect.

Before you get too excited, not every device has the pleasure of getting to know this new feature just yet. Google Play Protect rolled out with Google Play Services 11. To find out which version of Google Play Services is on your device, go to Settings | Apps | Application List | Google Play Services.

As you might expect, there is no Google Play Protect app to be found in the app store, it’s completely rolled into the Android system.

What can you do with Protect?

With that said, what can you do with Google Play Protect? The answer: not much. In fact, if you look in your App Drawer, you don’t find a launcher for the new protection system. Open up Settings (or Settings | Security) and there isn’t a section marked Google Play Protect. You have to dig into Settings | Google | Security | Verify Apps before you find any indication that Google Play Protect is running and protecting your device.

And so, the question remains, what can you do with Google Play Protect? Again, I say, not much. However, I believe that is exactly how it should be. Google has created a system that requires no user interaction and works completely in the background to scan for harmful apps.

Once you’re on the Google Play Protect settings page, you can’t even tap the “more” section of Recently scanned apps. What you can do is disable Play Protect (which you should not do), and enable the sending of unknown apps to Google. Enabling sending of unknown apps will allow apps from outside the Google Play store to be scanned. If you happen to work with apps from unknown sources, consider this a must-use feature.

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