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Anyone can create an app and submit it to the Google Play Store. As long as it is not malicious in any way, it will be published and people can download it.
Anyone can create a security app, for example and this is a problem because there is no requirement for it to be effective. Antivirus apps on Android vary in quality from the excellent to the awful and some really bad ones have difficulty detecting any viruses.
In fact, in a recent test of 21 antivirus vendors, almost half had problems and seven could not even detect a test virus. At least one installs ad trackers and puts your search and browsing history up for sale on ad exchanges (source).
This is shocking, but most (not all) problems are with less well known antivirus companies. The usual suspects are mostly OK, so stick with well-known antivirus vendors.
Don’t panic! According to Kaspersky, less than 10% of US mobile users were attacked by malware in 2018 and 6% of UK users (source). Most Android malware is in third party app stores, so avoid them to stay safe.
© 2020 R.A.Waddilove
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