Due to the relative ease of uploading apps onto the Google Play Store, not to mention the myriad of third-party app stores, it is easy for hackers and malicious developers to create harmful apps that might spy, steal information, or wreak havoc on the smartphones of others. In fact when we think of malware on smartphones, our minds usually jump to Android (unfortunately).
However it looks like over the years Google has made great strides in helping reduce the amount of malware on the smartphones of its users. In fact recently in a post for Android’s Security State of the Union 2014, Adrian Ludwig who is the lead engineer for Android Security, revealed some interesting stats, one of which was that Google managed to reduce the amount Potentially Harmful Apps by as much as 50%.
That was just in 2014 alone so we can only assume that the number should decrease even further this year with Google stepping up their efforts. Google also stated that there are about 1 billion devices protected with Google Play with 200 million security scans made per day. There are also less than 1% of Android devices that have a Potentially Harmful App installed on them, and that 0.15% of those that do only came from Google Play.
What this means is that it still looks like malware is an issue via third-party app stores, so in case it wasn’t obvious enough, users should always turn to trusted app stores like that of Google Play to download their apps.