Harmful Android apps can not only cause a headache by displaying incessant full-screen ads on your smartphone but they can even steal your information and send it over to the other end of the world right in the lap of those greasy haired cyber-criminals. Furthermore, there are malicious apps that can keep downloading more and more apps to your smartphone and make money off the number of installations. And the worst type of harmful apps are the ones that cause your Android smartphones to be rooted and then install some system level processes that nobody can get rid of without reinstalling Android ROM on the memory chip all over again.
Fortunately, Google Play store has introduced a feature called Play Protect that can find and block the harmful apps on your devices. By default, this feature blocks only the apps installed through the Play store. But you can make changes in the settings of the Play store to make it scan even the unknown apps installed on your device. Here is how:
- Launch Google Play store and tap on the menu icon (three horizontal lines).
- From the menu, select Play Protect.
- On the Play Protect settings screen, select Improve harmful app detection.
- This is it. Now Google will show you a notification if any of the apps installed on your phone is harmful and malicious in nature.
This way Google Play store will be able to analyze the apps that were already installed on your phone when you bought it. It can also scan some of the apps that side-loaded in your device and the ones that are not available in the Google Play store. But you should not depend entirely on this Play Protect feature to keep yourself protected from malware. You should install a good security product like Avast Antivirus on your Android device to keep it safe from all kinds of threats.