In light of the growing menace of malware and cyber attacks, Google’s upcoming solution will enable users to thwart such activity right at the beginning. The company is reportedly building a new feature into Android 7.1 Nougat OS, which will allow users to stop malicious apps from taking over their devices. The caveat here is that the ‘panic detection’ feature is not available as of now.
Google has added the panic feature to the Android 7.1 Nougat, and according to XDA-Developers, the feature would allow users to quickly exit a malicious app. Many times users inadvertently hit on the malicious link or end up installing a bad app. The panic button feature reacts in the same way as humans. As soon as one realizes something is amiss or if there is unusual activity, activating the button will shut down the offensive act.
In order to activate the feature, all that a user will be required to do upon spotting malicious activity in any app or website is to tap on the back button four times. This will trigger the feature to shut down all running apps thereby stopping the activity from taking over the phone. In instances when rogue apps prevent the user from exiting the app or from shutting it down, Android will itself override the app to bring back the home screen. Once out of the app, the user can theoretically uninstall the malicious app from the device. RELATED: Reliance Jio data breach occurred at vendors’ end, EY probe reveals
Coming to the availability of the feature; it is currently disabled in the Android version. However, the existence of the feature indicates the company could be testing it out and planning to release it at a later date.
The introduction of the feature would work as a precautionary measure as time and again security researchers discover plenty of malicious apps showing up on the official Google Play Store, and potentially leaving user devices open to hackers and critical information at risk. While having the operating system override malicious apps is a positive move towards ensuring smartphone security, there still is a need to ensure such apps or websites do not feature on official stores in the first place. ALSO READ: Windows malware infected 132 Android apps on Google Play Store