Google works hard to keep malware off its platform but reports of infected Google Play apps do occur quite regularly. Always remember, that we, the end users, are the last line of defense against malicious code - beware of what you download!
Follow these five steps to stay safe on Google Play:
Check the app permissions before installing. Some apps may ask for access to your contacts, camera, location, or other sensitive data. Make sure you understand why the app needs these permissions and whether you trust the app developer. If the app requests permissions that are irrelevant to its functionality, it may be a sign of malware.
Read the app reviews and ratings. Look for feedback from other users who have installed the app. Pay attention to any complaints about suspicious behavior, unwanted ads, or security issues. Avoid apps that have low ratings, few reviews, or negative feedback.
Update your device and apps regularly. Keeping your device and apps up to date can help you protect against the latest security threats. You can enable automatic updates for your device and apps in the settings menu of your device or Google Play app.
Use a reputable antivirus app. Antivirus apps can scan your device and apps for malware and alert you if they find any. You can download antivirus apps from Google Play or other trusted sources. Make sure you choose an antivirus app that has good reviews, ratings, and features.
Avoid downloading apps from unknown sources. Apps from third-party websites or unofficial app stores may not be verified by Google and may contain malware. You can disable the option to install apps from unknown sources in the security settings of your device.
Worried you may have downloaded malicious code? Help is just a (safe) click away.