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Want to read 49 pages on what the state of Android security was in 2015? Well now you can with Google releasing their 2015 Android Security report.

Adrian Ludwig, Lead Engineer, Android Security has announced the highlights in a blog post on the Android Security site, which summarises the report into easily digestible chunks. The report highlights that Google is protecting Android users from Potentially Harmful Apps (PHAs) in a number of ways.

Google scans apps available from Google Play, but also uses the ‘Verify Apps’ options built right into devices, as well as the ‘Safe Browsing’ option in Chrome Mobile to protect from potentially harmful websites.

The work Google is doing includes some impressive numbers, including scanning 6-billion installed apps as well as protecting users from ‘network-based and on-device threats by scanning 400 million devices per day’.

Google’s efforts to make Android more secure was a success in 2014, dropping the probability of downloading a PHA by 40%, this year they’ve improved on that with the potential for downloading a PHA from Google Play now on just 0.15% of devices; though this rose to 0.5% if you also download apps from other sources. Within Google Play though they cleared some more issues and saw decreases here as well:

  • Data Collection: decreased over 40% to 0.08% of installs
  • Spyware: decreased 60% to 0.02% of installs
  • Hostile Downloader: decreased 50% to 0.01% of installs

The takeaway here is that installing apps from Google Play only is the best option, but Google is doing pretty well protecting users even if they do grab apps elsewhere.

Source: Google Online Security BlogAndroid Security 2015 Annual Report.