Third-Party App Store Downloads blocked by Google

Google expands its Advanced Protection Program (APP) to all Android users. Earlier the APP was offered to high risk individuals like politicians, business leaders, journalists. It is now available to users with an Android 7.0+ device to improve protection against malicious apps.

Signing up for the service benefits the user by ensuring that Google Play Protects AV scanning functionality is switched on all the time. This helps the user in a situation where they unsuspectingly download legitimate-looking malware which then updates to include malicious code. The APP also stops users from downloading and installing apps from third-party. Users once enrolled in the APP program won’t be able to install unofficial app stores, the only exception includes app stores installed by official Android device makers like Samsung and Huawei and apps installed via the Android Debug Bridge developer tool.

Thanks to multi-factor authentication (MFA), APP also offers protection against phishing attacks.Third-party (unofficial) app stores have been found to be hosts of Android malware and source of malicious activity.

Last month Google removed nearly 600 apps found to be in violation of its policy on disruptive advertising and banned their developers from the Play store and its ad networks. Advanced Protection Program (APP) is also available with iPhonesiOS apps, and Chrome browser.