In efforts to prevent malicious apps from reaching Android users, Google’s numerous safeguards took down over 700,000 apps from the Google Play Store in 2017, the company said in a blog post. That’s 70 percent more apps as compared to the year 2016.
“Not only did we remove more bad apps, we were able to identify and action against them earlier,” Google Play product manager Andrew Ahn wrote. “99 percent of apps with abusive contents were identified and rejected before anyone could install them.”
According to Ahn, copycats designed to resemble popular apps remain a popular method of trying to deceive users. The company further states that it kept “tens of thousands” of apps with inappropriate content out of the Play Store.
“While small in volume, PHAs pose a threat to Android users and we invest heavily in keeping them out of the Play Store,” Ahn said. “Potentially harmful applications” or the PHAs are the apps that attempt to steal users’ personal information, act as a trojan horse, or commit SMS fraud by firing off texts without a user’s knowledge.