Malicious apps on Android may not be as big a problem as some would have you believe, but they are still a threat. That’s especially true when you’re sideloading apps onto your handset, as Google Play’s built in security features don’t check third-party apps. While Google Play does scan all apps that are uploaded to the store, apps from third-party sources get to skip the security check, potentially allowing for some nasty situations.
That’s all changing with Android 4.2, however. Computer World reports that Google has included a major boost to security with the latest version of the Android operating system that will scan third-party for apps for threats in real-time the first time you open them. Apps from all third-party sources are included in this, so as long as you’re willing to allow the security system to check your apps, there shouldn’t be a single app on your handset or tablet that hasn’t been scanned for threats first.
It’s a cool feature, but there will obviously be some who are uncomfortable with letting Google scan the software installed on their devices. That’s why Google has made this an opt-in system – the first time you’re prompted to allow a scan of an app, you’ll be given the option to opt-in. If you do and decide later on that you don’t want the security system performing scans, you can opt-out by going into the security section of the settings menu.
Also included in Android 4.2 is a new feature that will alert you anytime an app tries to send a text message out. This will be good in stopping apps that sign you up for those worthless “services” that bill your carrier every month. It sounds like Google is making a point to really hone in on Android security with this latest release of Jelly Bean, and that’s only a good thing. What do you think of these new security measures – will you use them?