GOOGLE is urging Android users to check a special feature that can keep you safe online.

It’s available for free on Android phones, and can save you from devastating hack attacks.


Make sure you’ve got Google Play Protect switched on[/caption]

The feature is called Google Play Protect, and works through the official Google Play store.

“Use Google Play Protect to help keep your apps safe and your data private,” Google explained.

“Google Play Protect checks your apps and devices for harmful behaviour.”

The feature checks apps to see if they’re safe before you download them – and much more.

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How does Google Play Protect work?

Here’s what Google Play protect does…

  • Checks Google Play store apps for safety before download
  • Checks for non-Play store apps that may be harmful
  • Warns you about harmful apps
  • Deactivates or removes harmful apps
  • Warns you about apps that violate policy by hiding or misrepresenting themselves
  • Sends you privacy alerts about apps that can use permissions to access your personal data
  • Reset app permissions to protect your privacy

Of course, Google’s protection feature might not catch all instances of bad behaviour – so you still need to be careful online.

How to check if Google Play Protect is on

Open the Google Play store app and then tap your profile icon in the top right.

Now tap Settings, and then look under About to see if your device is Play Protect certified.

To turn it on or off, open the Play store and then tap the profile icon.

Tap Play Protect > Settings and then turn Scan Apps With Play Protect on or off.

“For security, we recommend that you always keep Google Play Protect on,” Google explains.

Google adds: “If you install apps from unknown sources outside of the Google Play Store, Google Play Protect may ask you to send unknown apps to Google.

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“When you turn on the ‘Improve harmful app detection’ setting, you allow Google Play Protect to automatically send unknown apps to Google.”

You can activate this feature under Play Protect > Settings.

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