Scared of downloading apps from Google Play Store? Then just check this out

There have been many instances when people have downloaded apps from Google Play Store and their phones got infected with malware. However, here is what Play Store is doing now.

| Updated on: Jul 14 2023, 09:40 IST
Google ban! No more call recording apps on Google Play Store
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1/6 The new Google Play Store policy will come into effect on May 11, 2022, and will soon stop third-party apps from recording calls on Android devices. (Pixabay)
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2/6 This new Google policy will prevent third-party apps from using the Accessibility to API (Application Programming Interface) for recording the call audio stream. (Unsplash)
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3/6 Google has confirmed on its support page that, “The Accessibility API is not designed and cannot be requested for remote call audio recording. The use of the Accessibility API must be documented in the Google Play listing.” (Reuters)
Google Play Store
4/6 Though, this is not the first time! Google has been taking a slow process to deprecate and remove the APIs that enable call recording over several Android smartphones. (Unsplash)
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5/6 Why is Google behind the removal of call-recording apps? Well, Google claims that this was done while keeping privacy and security in mind. Though, another reason could be the different laws in regard to the call recording from country to country. (Pixabay)
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6/6 Well, this is also revealed that the pre-installed or system apps that already have permission to tap on the Accessibility API won't be affected by this new policy. (AFP)
Google Play Store
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A new developer requirement has been introduced by Google that aims to minimize the chances of harmful apps making their way onto the Android app store. (Reuters)

There have been many instances when people have downloaded apps from Google Play Store and their phones got infected with malware. Now, Google Play Store is taking measures to combat malware and prevent malicious apps from infiltrating its platform. To achieve this, a new developer requirement has been introduced that aims to minimize the chances of harmful apps making their way onto the Android app store.

Malicious apps often manage to bypass Google's security checks by appearing legitimate during the review process. However, after the review is completed, hackers inject malware into these apps or enable them to download additional malicious content. Although Google removes these harmful apps from the Play Store and bans the associated developer accounts, cybercriminals still manage to create new accounts and submit the same dangerous apps under different names.

Data Universal Number System

To address this issue of adding dangerous apps to the Play Store, Google will implement a change that will make it more difficult for hackers to infect apps that you download. The new requirement mandates that developers have a valid D-U-N-S (Data Universal Number System) number to submit new apps. A D-U-N-S number is a unique identifier issued by Dun & Bradstreet, a data and business analytics firm. Obtaining this number involves submitting specific documents for verification, and the process can take up to 30 days, which poses a significant delay for app developers seeking to monetize their apps on the Play Store.

Change in ‘Contact Details' section

In addition to the D-U-N-S number requirement, Google will also enhance the "Contact details" section on app listings by renaming it as "App support" and providing more comprehensive information about each developer.

Google has announced that starting from August 31, all new Android developers must provide a valid D-U-N-S number when creating their accounts. Later this year, existing developers will also be required to update and verify their accounts. All this information is available on Google's blog post i.e. Android Developers Blog.

While these changes will enhance the safety of the Play Store, it is important for users to remain vigilant against Android malware.

There are other ways for users to download apps that are dangerous. Hackers can target unsuspecting Android users by utilizing sideloaded apps. To stay safe, it is advisable to avoid sideloading apps onto Android devices and only download apps from official app stores such as the Play Store, Amazon App Store, App Store and Samsung Galaxy Store.

While most Android phones come with Google Play Protect to defend against malware, users should install Android antivirus apps for greater protection of their devices. Google Play Protect can scan existing and newly downloaded apps for malware.

Ultimately, safety is always in the hands of the users. They must verify each and every app before it is downloaded. From use of incorrect English phrases, typos and grammar on these apps to very few reviews, each aspect should be vetted before downloading any app.

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First Published Date: 14 Jul, 09:39 IST
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