Google’s Advanced Protection program now blocks sideloading non-Play Store apps
Google’s Advanced Protection program is the company’s strongest security for “those who need it most.” This program can safeguard personal or business Google accounts of anyone at risk of targeted attacks, like political campaigns, journalists, business leaders, etc. While it’s not something most people need, it is available to anyone. Today, Google announced some new features for the program.
For starters, Play Protect will now be enabled by default for anyone registered in the Advanced Protection program. For those unaware, Play Protect is Google’s built-in malware protection for Android. It scans billions of apps every day with Google’s machine learning algorithms to keep devices safe. Play Protect is already enabled on most devices, but this ensures it is for those requesting extra protection.
Next, Google will be blocking the majority of sideloaded apps for those enrolled in the Advanced Protection program. It’s much harder for Google to ensure the safety of users if they are installing apps from untrusted sources. The one exception to this will be apps installed from app stores that are pre-installed on the device by the manufacturer through the Android Debug Bridge. Existing apps on your device from outside the Play Store will not be removed.
These changes will not be applied to G Suite users, but there are equivalent protections in place through Endpoint Management. For everyone else enrolled in the Advanced Protection program, the new features will begin rolling out today. New malware protection for Chrome is coming later this year as well. You can join the Advanced Protection program here.