Play Store adds new badge to signal which Android VPN apps pass a security audit

To give users more peace of mind and show that it’s taking concerns about Android cybersecurity seriously, Google’s rolling out an Independent Security Review badge to highlight which Android VPN apps have gone through an independent security audit. 

Last year, the App Defense Alliance, a collaboration between Google, ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium launched in 2019 to solve the Play Store’s persistent malware problem, introduced the Mobile Application Security Assessment (MASA) audit. This process enables software developers to have their apps independently validated against a global security standard as a way to signal to users that what they’re downloading on their phones has been designed to meet industry mobile security and privacy minimum best practices. The logic is that if developers go the extra mile on their end to mitigate security vulnerabilities and users can make more informed decisions prior to downloading new apps, hackers will have a harder time breaking into users’ devices, thus improving the app quality across the ecosystem as a whole if you have one of the best Android phones.

Apps that receive a badge have successfully undergone a MASA audit. To maintain the badge year over year, app developers will need to undergo another independent audit annually. 

“While certification to baseline security standards does not imply that a product is free of vulnerabilities, the badge associated with these validated apps helps users see at-a-glance that a developer has prioritized security and privacy practices and committed to user safety,” Nataliya Stanetsky of the Android Security and Privacy Team said in a Google Security Blog post this week.

Now when you search for the best VPN apps in the Play Store, you should see a banner at the top that points you to the Data Safety Section to better understand what the new badge means. If you click

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Is that VPN app on the Play Store safe? Google will now help inform you.

Google Play Store app next to other Google Apps stock photo

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority


  • Google is introducing a new banner in the Google Play store for specific app types.
  • The banner will inform the user what apps have received an independent security review.
  • The banner will first start appearing for VPN apps.

Last month, Google announced it was introducing real-time app scanning to Google Play Protect for Android app installs. Now the company is making it easier to see which apps have undergone an independent security review in the Google Play store.

Today, Google announced that it is adding a new banner to the Google Play store for specific app types. Providing a simplified view of what apps have gone through an independent security review, the banner will first start appearing for VPN apps.

Google says it will debut the banner for VPNs first due to the sensitive and significant amount of user data VPNs handle. In the image below, you can see an example of the banner users will see. It explains that apps with the badge shown to the right have been validated for the minimum global security standard.


These badges will appear in the data safety section of the app, which you can see in the image below. The security review is conducted by a third party using the Mobile App Security Assessment (MASA), an assessment that was introduced last year. Google says apps that have earned this badge are practicing at least the minimum industry mobile security and privacy standards.


If you want more information or to see what apps have been approved, Google says there will be a “Learn More” for users to navigate to. It will redirect the user to the App Validation Directory, where there is a complete list of reviewed apps, as well as additional technical assessment details.

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Android apps on Windows now work better when you use a VPN

Apps using Windows Subsystem for Android can connect to other network devices

The Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) has a firm place in the heart of Android lovers because it allows us to run mobile apps on the desktop operating system as though they were native programs. The experience isn’t comparable to stock Android yet, but we are getting there slowly with Microsoft’s updates, growing geographic availability, and support for more apps. Microsoft’s latest update for WSA adds a few noteworthy new features, greatly aiding interoperability with Windows programs and other devices on your network.

Version 2305 of WSA released in June made it much easier for apps to access Windows files using a shared directory. According to the changelog available on the WSA GitHub page, the latest update (version 2306) makes it easier for WSA apps to interact with other Windows devices on your network, be it a NAS or another computer, all while respecting Windows Firewall restrictions and your VPN settings. This is a great step forward if some apps you often use are geo-restricted, or if you often use WSA on a secondary computer while all your files are stored on another one. Corresponding settings are tucked away under Advanced settingsExperimental features, which replaces the Advanced networking option.

Version 2306 also brings support for the familiar F11 shortcut to toggle full screen mode on and off. When WSA apps are running in full screen, the taskbar will stay hidden unless you hover your cursor along the lower edge of your display. This change makes for a more immersive visual experience, with both touch and physical input. Microsoft’s engineers have also improved the Picture-in-Picture mode with additional buttons giving you more control. The drag and drop functionality for files also supports more formats now

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The VPN by Google’s Jigsaw team discussed

VPNs are essential to preserve shoppers harmless even though searching the world-wide-web. Several products and services are obtainable, these as NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or SurfShark VPN, and all perform on the greatest Android telephones. Google’s Jigsaw team, which makes methods for a safer world wide web, has its individual open up supply VPN named Outline that is a bit different from classic VPNs. This report discusses what Define is, how it compares to other VPNs, and how you can use it to browse safely.


What is Define?

Define is a VPN and VPN server available by Google’s Jigsaw Team that enables individuals and businesses close to the environment to join to the open up web. The Jigsaw team is a specific division of Google that results in options that make searching the world-wide-web safer. Their products aim to uphold technological innovation as a force of fantastic by combating disinformation, censorship, toxicity, and violent extremism. Their Define VPN was produced as a action in the direction of that target.

Two spheres with orbits around them representing different functions of Outline VPN

Define utilizes a protocol that makes the VPN hard to detect and, therefore, more difficult for sites or other groups to block. Outline VPN delivers two merchandise: Define Supervisor and Define Consumer. Define Supervisor allows you to established up a personal VPN server utilizing your preference of cloud providers, including Digital Ocean, Amazon World-wide-web Solutions, and Google Cloud. Outline Consumer is the application utilised to access a VPN server the moment it’s been established up applying Define Supervisor.

Outline is transparent with its know-how and is open up supply, so it can be simply audited. It has been audited by two unbiased security corporations who have issued their very own experiences: Radically Open up Source and Cure 53.

Various corporations use Define to support them entry

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