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Android Oreo includes new Google Play Protect security feature

Google's Android Oreo includes new security features designed to protect users' devices and data from malicious apps with a host of new security features.

The eight major version of Android now includes Google Play Protect which scans more than 50 billion applications per day on more than a billion devices and will be available for devices running version 4.2 or later. The updates were announced Monday Aug. 21 at an event in New York.

Google compares app behavior across these devices using machine learning to spot is an app is behaving unusually to determine if it needs to be removed from a device.

Since users must now permit the installation of APKs per-source, the new Android version will also help prevent malicious apps from third-party sources from taking over a user's device, by not allowing hostile downloader apps to operate without authorization. 

A new "find my device" feature that allows users to remotely locate, lock, or wipe their devices if it is lost or stolen will also help protect users from threat actors who may have gained physical access to a missing device.

“One of the big features of Android Oreo is it's going to prevent apps from taking over the screen, so that will really address the screen locker issue in large part,” Malwarebytes' Director of Mac and Mobile Thomas Reed told SC Media. “So that's a really good feature obviously. It has some improvements in being able to see privacy violations.”

For example, users will be able to see what apps are doing a little bit in the background, Reed said.


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