Google scans more than 6 billion installed apps for malware every day

Google is slowly but surely killing malware. Photo: Google

Google is slowly but surely killing malware. Photo: Google

When malware rears its ugly head on Android, it gives the platform a bad image, so Google is trying its hardest to stamp it out.

In its Android Security 2015 Annual Report, the company reveals that it now scans more than 6 billion installed apps across 400 million devices every single day for malware.

Google has been hard at work improving Android security for years, and although it’s significantly better than it used to be, malicious applications still find their way onto some users’ devices — sometimes via the Play Store.

To curb this, Google quietly scans the apps installed on your Android devices periodically to ensure they contain no malware. The company is actually scanning over 6 billion apps on more than 400 million devices each and every day.

Despite what some stories will lead you to believe, this approach is working. “Last year’s enhancements reduced the probability of installing a PHA [Potentially Harmful App] from Google Play by over 40% compared to 2014,” Google explains.

The number of PHAs designed to collect user data decreased over 40 percent during 2015 to just 0.08 percent of installs, while those containing spyware decreased 60 to 0.02 percent of installs. Hostile downloaders decreased 50 percent to 0.01 percent of installs.

“Overall, PHAs were installed on fewer than 0.15% of devices that only get apps from Google Play,” Google adds. In comparison, 0.5 percent of devices that install apps from the Play Store and third-party sources had a PHA installed.