Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

PSA: To avoid malware, check for this before buying an Android TV

Manufacturer certification and Google Play Protect status are good indicators of a trusted Android TV device.

Published onMay 28, 2023

Google Chromecast with Google TV setup 3
David Imel / Android Authority
  • After reports of malware on Android TV devices emerged, Google has released guidance for consumers to help them make an informed decision.
  • Potential buyers should check if the manufacturer is listed on the Android TV homepage as a partner.
  • You should also check for the Google Play Protect status of the Android TV box.

Recently, researchers found that some top-rated Android TV boxes that were highly popular on Amazon were preloaded with malware. These Android TV boxes were from uncertified brands that had gotten popular because of their low price, but in the background, they would commit ad-click fraud to generate illicit revenue. In response to this, Google has released guidance for consumers so that they do not end up purchasing such products.

Just because a set-top box or TV dongle comes with Android TV doesn’t mean that it is certified to run Android TV. Google has strict security and privacy policies for Android TV, and products that are certified to run Android TV undergo extensive testing for quality and user safety. Only after they pass these tests are they given the Android TV certification and added to the official partner page.

Check for manufacturer status

If you are in the store and about to purchase an Android TV device, you should quickly check if the manufacturer is listed on the Android TV homepage under Global Partners before making your purchase. If your manufacturer is present, then you can reasonably trust the products that they sell officially through their authorized channels.

Check the Google Play Protect status

There’s still a chance that the product could be counterfeit or tampered with, in which case you should try and check for the Google Play Protect status of the device. You could check this on a demo unit or on your unit post-purchase.

On devices that are not authentic, Google Play Protect will not show the usual “Device is certified” status, and that is usually an indication of Google apps, such as the Play Store being sideloaded onto the TV box instead of being licensed and pre-installed on it. By extension, this is an indication of the product not being genuine, and it should raise some red flags.

How to check the Google Play Protect status of an Android TV device

  • On a demo unit, open the Google Play Store.
  • Click on the profile icon in the top right.
  • Click on Settings > About > Play Protect certification.
  • You should see “Device is certified” here.

Hopefully, with this information, potential buyers will be able to make an informed decision and protect themselves from malware.

You might like