In a bid to protect its users from sketchy fake devices loaded with malicious malware, Google has released crucial guidelines for Android TV users. Experts recently uncovered several popular television streaming boxes that were not as legitimate as they appeared. Although these devices come preloaded with Google apps, they are not manufactured by Google itself. Crafty scammers exploit these devices to generate revenue by engaging in ad-click fraud, discreetly tapping on ads in the background.
Following concerns raised by users, Google has taken a stand on the issue. The tech giant revealed that certain boxes falsely market themselves as running on Android TV OS, when in reality, they merely utilize the underlying Android technology and feature Android apps. Unfortunately, these devices lack Play Protect certification, meaning the apps installed on them are not subjected to checks for potentially harmful threats that could compromise users' bank accounts.
"User security and privacy for devices is a top priority for the Android TV OS ecosystem," stated Google. "That is why we work with our partners to ensure Android TV OS devices adhere to stringent security and privacy policies and undergo extensive testing to ensure quality and user safety. These devices are Play Protect certified, which means they come with Google's built-in malware protection that keeps your device, apps, and data safe."
To ensure their devices are secure, Google is cautioning users to visit the Android TV website and verify if their device's manufacturer is listed as an approved partner. Additionally, users are encouraged to check if their streaming box has obtained Play Protect certification. This can be done by opening the Google Play Store and tapping on the profile icon located in the top-right corner. From there, users should navigate to Play Protect and look for the section labeled "Play Protect certification." This will indicate whether the device has been certified or not.
"If your device isn't Play Protect certified, we recommend you contact your device manufacturer and ask for a fully tested, Play Protect certified device," advised Google.
By following these precautionary measures, Android TV users can mitigate the risks associated with fraudulent devices and ensure a safer streaming experience.