You may think that if you download applications from 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 on Android are, all compared to Google Play Protect, Google's solution to detect malware in its applications Google Play store.
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 score was taken by Google Play Protect, after receiving only 6 points for the 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.
Concerning the Google Play Protect, AV-TEST clearly shows that you do not have to rely on it if you want to be safe on an Android device.
The tests carried out checks on 10.000 new applications that were infected and Google Play Protect he could not even detect the threats that were already known.
"Google 's result is disappointing: throughout the tests, the 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, the Google Play Protect loses about 3.500 to 5.500 applications containing hidden malware, " reports the AV-TEST.
"In tests, Play Protect displayed false alarms on harmless applications from Google Play Store! Add to this the false alarms for applications from other sources. That's why no points were awarded to Google Play Protect in the usability category ", reports AV-TEST.