How to Report Suspicious Android Apps

Android Report as Inappropriate Form in Google Play Store
Ben Stockton

A single suspicious or malicious Android application installed on your device is enough to put your data and your security at risk. If you found a suspicious application and want to report it to Google, here's how.

Before you begin, remember that most Android malware is not accompanied by a warning banner. Knowledge how to avoid malware on Android in the first place is your best form of defense. You can start by installing only apps from the Google Play store.

If you need to install apps outside of the Play Store, you must be absolutely sure to trust the source before you load them laterally on your device. Third-party app stores like the Amazon Appstore could be better to use than sites offering direct downloads of APKs.

Do not assume that every Google Play app is safe to use, however. Suspicious applications go from time to time between the cracks. Fortunately, Google offers users a way to report apps that you think are suspicious.

Report suspicious Android apps from your device

The simplest way to report an app as suspicious is to report it via the Google Play Store on your device. Open the Play Store app and look for the suspicious application.

In the top right section of the application list, you will see the three-point menu button. Touch this and click "Report as inappropriate".

Click the three-point menu for your app's details in the Google Play Store.

You will have a list of seven categories for your complaint, from sexual content to impersonation. Choose the reason that best suits your complaint. For example, if you are reporting an application against a malicious program, choose "Harmful to Device or Data".

If the option "Harmful to the device or data" is not available or if it does not suit you, select another reason. If none of the reasons match, choose "Other objection" at the bottom of the list.

Once you are done, select "Submit".

Fill out the suspicious apps form in Google Play Store

You can not add comments to your complaint if you report it via Google Play Store. If you want to go into the details or add evidence, it is best to file your complaint online.

Use the Google Play Store Help Center website

Google has a specific report form allows users to report online applications, available via the Google Play Store Help Center website. This method is useful if you do not have your device on hand or if, as previously stated, you need to go into the details of your complaint.

Open the Help Center, scroll down to "Help by Product Type" and click on "Google Play Store".

Google Play Help Center, scroll to and select Google Play Store under Help by Product Type

Under "Fix a problem," click "Report content issues or violations."

Click Report Content Issues or Violations

On this page, scroll down to "Computer," and under "Report apps, games, or music inappropriately," click the link for the "Report inappropriate apps" form.

Click on the link report inappropriate apps here

The form is fairly simple, with options for reporting apps for reasons such as sexual or graphic content, spam, illegal activities, etc. As you would if you reported directly through the Google Play Store, you must select the reason for the reporting of the application.

If you suspect that your application contains malware, select the "Harmful to Device or Data" option. You can also choose to select "Other objection" if you feel that the other categories are too restrictive for your complaint.

Select the complaint category on the inappropriate application reporting form

When the form asks for it, briefly explain why you are reporting the application, providing as much detail as possible. If the application is still available for download, look for its Web URL on the Google Play Store website and provide it.

Confirm your name and email address and click "Submit" to finish.

Provide the comment, the e-mail address and the name of the complaint, then click Submit.

Whether you choose to report an app through Google Play Store on your device or through the Help Center, your report will be sent to Google for review and analysis.

Once this review is done, if Google believes your complaint is true, then the app will be removed from the Google Play Store.

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