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Android security review 2018: Huge boost in device security updates

Google also boasts amazingly low percentage of downloads of potentially harmful apps.

Published onMarch 29, 2019

Google just revealed the Android Security & Privacy Year in Review 2018 report. The annual report sums up how well Google is doing at protecting Android users from security and privacy breaches.

According to the report — which Google creates and disperses — the company is doing a great job at protecting users from potentially harmful apps (PHAs). The report states that in 2018, only 0.08 percent of devices that used the Google Play Store exclusively for app downloads were affected by PHAs.

There are around two billion Android devices worldwide, but millions of those devices either don’t use the Play Store exclusively or don’t use it at all (such as the millions of devices in China). With that in mind, the amount of devices affected by PHAs is likely comparatively quite small.

Are Android updates getting faster? Let's look at the data

However, the devices that don’t use the Play Store exclusively also saw some progress in 2018. According to the report, those devices saw a 15 percent reduction in malware rates as compared to the previous year.

Check out this YouTube video of Dave Kleidermacher, Vice President of Android Security and Privacy, running down what’s new in this report:

Quite possibly the most interesting stat from the report, though, is that in the final quarter of 2018, there were a whopping 84 percent more devices receiving a security update than in the same quarter the prior year.  That’s terrific news and an example of how smartphone OEMs are finally getting better at keeping devices up-to-date.

Click the button below to read the full report for yourself.

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