You may think that if you download apps from the Google Play Store you will be safe with an Android device. On the other hand, security experts recommend the use of a reliable application that can detect malicious applications.
The AV-TEST antivirus testing lab conducted a six-month test to determine how advanced the current security products for Android are, all compared to Google Play Protect, Google's malware detection solution in the Google Play store applications.
The research was conducted on Android 8.0 and applications from the following companies were tested:
- G Data
- Trend Micro
AV-TEST tests protection applications in three different categories: protection, performance, and usability. The maximum score for each product was six points per test, and the maximum was 18 points.
From 18 points they got:
- Avira Antivirus Security
- Bitdefender Mobile Security
- G Data Internet Security
- NortonLifeLock Norton 360
- Trend Micro Mobile Security
The worst rating was given to Google Play Protect, as it received only 6 points for performance.
However, for the products Avast Mobile Security and AVG Antivirus Free had the lowest score (final 15,4). This makes sense because both apps use the same engine, so they offer similar performance on Android devices.
As for Google Play Protect, AV-TEST clearly shows that you should not rely on it if you want to be safe on an Android device.
The tests checked 10.000 new applications that were infected, and Google Play Protect could not detect even the threats that were already known.
"Google's result is disappointing: throughout the tests, Google Play Protect had an average detection rate of 64,6 percent in real-time testing. The total number of applications it detected reached only 45,4 percent. In rounded numbers, this means that in tests, Google Play Protect loses about 3.500 to 5.500 applications that contain hidden malware. " he says the AV-TEST.
Google Play Protect presented users with false positives for applications installed from the Google Play Store.
"In tests, Play Protect displayed false alarms on harmless applications from the Google Play Store! Add to this the false alarms for applications from other sources. That is why Google Play Protect was not awarded points in the usability category ", reports AV-TEST.