Google Tests New Tool to Shield Android Users from Scammers

Google Tests New Tool to Shield Android Users from Scammers

Google is starting a pilot program to protect Android phone users from scams that could steal their money and personal information. They will soon test a new feature for better fraud protection through Google Play Protect.

Even though Google made app downloads safer with real-time scanning through Play Protect last year, the company says scammers often use tricks to convince Android phone users to disable these security measures. This puts their finances and personal information in danger.

Google says online criminals use different methods to persuade Android phone users to “turn off security safeguards and ignore warnings about potential malware, scams, and phishing.” Using these tactics, criminals can easily get security codes, passwords, and financial information.

A new security feature to fight fraud will be tested in Singapore Google states that 95% of malware installations on Android phones come from sources outside the Internet, like messaging apps, file managers, and web browsers.

To tackle this problem, Google announced that it has partnered again with the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) to start a pilot program for a new anti-fraud system in the upcoming weeks.

Google’s new system “will examine and automatically stop the installation of apps that might use sensitive runtime permissions often misused for financial fraud.” This will occur every time a user tries to install an app from a source outside the Internet.

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The system will check if an app from outside the Internet asks for four runtime permissions that are frequently misused to run scams: RECEIVE_SMS, READ_SMS, BIND_Notifications, and Accessibility.

During the pilot program in Singapore, the system will stop any app from outside the Internet that asks for any of these four permissions. Users will see a message telling them that Play Protect has automatically stopped the app’s installation.

The search engine giant hasn’t shared when the anti-fraud pilot program will end in Singapore or when Android phone users in other areas might benefit from this new system. We’ll keep you updated.

Image Credit: Sammobile

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