Potentially Harmful Applications (PHAs) are the Android applications that could harm your device and can perform a number of activities without your consent. Google is working to increase the safety of your devices along with your information. Google has a wide range of automated systems that can protect your Android devices from the attack of PHAs. The first key tool to fight against PHAs is Verify Apps.
Verify Apps service checks every app prior to install it on your Android device to confirm if the application is potentially harmful or not. It also keeps on rechecking the devices to ensure they are safe and are not compromised by hackers with the help to PHAs.
You are advised to install all the apps from trusted sources such as Google Play Store to shield your Android device.
What Potentially Harmful Applications Can Do After Installation
Potentially Harmful Applications can shift the control of your device to the hackers and enable them to steal your data. PHAs can also impose billing fraud and can collect your personal information from your device.
Besides this, these malicious apps can download harmful programs by bundling them and perform unwanted actions. These apps can infect your device too.
Check Whether Verify Apps Is Enabled on Your Android
Verify Apps checks more than 6 billion installed applications and scans around 400 million devices per day. This service prompts a warning message if it detects PHA. It asks you to remove the app from your device in order to keep it secure.
Sometimes Verify Apps automatically remove Potentially Harmful Applications without your confirmation, but this happens rarely when PHA is purely unsafe. To check the security of your Android device against PHAs, just follow the below given instructions:
Open the Settings app on your Android device.
Tap on Google > Security under Personal section.
Tap “Scan device for security threats” under Verify Apps.
Note: This guide is for the devices running Android 7.0 other devices might have different process to check Verify Apps.
Download Apps from Unknown Sources
If you try to download the apps from sources other than Google Play, you need to make changes in your device settings. Do keep in mind, it is not safe for your device. If you still want to let your device download from other sources, you can turn on “Unknown sources”.
- Open the Settings app on your Android device.
- Tap on Security under Personal section.
- Now tap “Unknown sources” (enable it) under “Device administration”.
For the better protection of your Android device, you are recommended to disable the “Unknown sources” and enable “Verify Apps”. This will keep you away from Potentially Harmful Applications.