In this day and age, where data security has become a priority for many users, having a secure and reliable VPN service is more important than ever. And although the Play Store has a plethora of options for VPNs, many don’t work as expected. Now, to solve this issue, Google has introduced a new badge which serves as a visual confirmation indicating that an app has undergone independent review.
How are the apps tested?
The idea behind this feature stems from the MASA (Mobile App Security Assessment) standard, which checks critical aspects of an app, including data storage, privacy practices, encryption methods, user authentication, network communication, app-device interaction, and the overall quality of the app’s code.
Dubbed “Independent Security Reviews,” this feature primarily aims to reassure regular users that VPN apps have undergone a rigorous assessment aligned with the MASA standard. Moreover, meeting the standards not only allows developers to show their commitment to data security but also enables them to attract more users to install their apps.
However, it is important to note that Google does not conduct the security review. Instead, it involves third-party audits that test an app’s source code and server configurations, thus ensuring its safety.
Plans to expand the badge to other apps
While this feature is currently only available for VPN apps, considering the substantial amount of sensitive user data these apps handle, Google has plans to expand this feature to other app categories as well.
However, it is important to note that Google is currently working on integrating security badges into many popular VPN apps. And at present, VPN providers like NordVPN, Google One, and ExpressVPN have completed the MASA security audit and display the badge.
“We encourage and anticipate additional VPN app developers to undergo independent security testing, bringing even more transparency to users,” says Google.