When it comes to malware on our mobile devices, Android has gotten most of the flack to date, and Google has implemented several security measures in its Google Play store to help reduce malware infections. With Android 4.2, Google has also introduced a malware scanner in the operating system which by right should lessen the worry by Android users as it helps to scan for malware in app downloads not just from Google Play, but from third-party sources like Amazon’s Appstore. As it turns out, the malware scanner might not be as effective as you think because according to North Carolina State University computer science professor Xuxian Jiang, when put to the test, the built-in malware scanner was only able to detect 15.32% of malicious apps.
Despite the results, Jiang did praise Google’s efforts, calling it an exciting security feature but mentioned that there was room for improvement. On the other hand Jiang did express some worry that with the inclusion of the malware scanner and its less than optimal results, it might lull Android users into a false sense of security and lead them to believe that third-party security software is no longer necessary. While that might be true further down the line, with a 15.32% detection rate, it would seem like a smart idea to retain your current security software, at least for now.
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