How old is your Android phone? Many of us like to keep our phones just because it’s expensive to buy a new one! We are also getting to know how they are set up and we don’t want to go through the hassle of learning a new one. Do you still need to use an old Android phone?
The answer is no. These older phones are probably not safe.
Why older phones are bad
There are hundreds of different mobile phone models using the Android operating system. It is so popular because it is easy to personalize, modify and configure your device exactly the way you want. Manufacturers can also make these customizations, and therein lies the problem.
The number of different models makes it impossible to find and fix security vulnerabilities for each of them. So after about two or three years, the manufacturers give up.
About 40% of active Android devices no longer receive security updates. This means that if a new vulnerability is discovered on this model, there will be no patch to fix it.
Google has established a rule that manufacturers should only provide two years of device updates. So if you are using a phone that is more than two years old, it may not receive the updates it needs to protect you from hackers and malware.
Is my phone secure?
Which phones are at risk of these security breaches and how do you know if you have one?
- Any Android phone three years of age or older
- Phones running a version earlier than Android 8 Oreo
- A phone that says it has all the updates but has been updated months or even years ago
Recently, unsupported devices will not have problems immediately, but without security updates, the risk of hacking increases exponentially. You may not even notice that your phone is out of date until you try to download software, but the application is incompatible with your phone’s operating system.
To find out if your phone is still updating, go to Settings and check your software updates. Going to “System -> Advanced -> System Update” is a good start. Usually you will see here an indication of the latest phone update.
Make your phone safer
If you just can’t get a new phone at the moment but your old one is one of those devices at risk, what can you do to stay safe? You won’t be able to eliminate all threats, but you can reduce your chances of being hacked.
Since androids are customizable, it is possible to add additional security to your device. Most of these solutions are easy to implement and maintain. It just takes a little time.
- Add additional security to your device, such as a reliable third-party antivirus and anti-malware application. Tools such as password managers, ad blockers and two-factor authentication can also help extend the life of an old phone.
- Download an Android VPN to protect the Internet connection.
- Be extremely careful when downloading anything from the Google Play Store. While most apps are secure, some malicious apps could more easily affect an older phone.
- Do not download apps from third-party or unofficial app stores.
- Consider rooting your device and switching to an open source Android operating system, such as LineageOS. You may still experience another security issue, but at least you will receive regular security updates to give you more protection than you would have on an unsupported operating system. Rooting your phone may seem like a bad security decision, but you now have full control over your phone’s security rather than relying on an outdated and unsupported operating system.
- Finally, consider buying a new device. It doesn’t have to be the latest flagship. You can get an economical and decent Android phone running Android 10 for around $ 200.
Many Android users are perfectly happy with their old phones and see no reason to update. Nothing seems to go wrong with the phone. It still works great and they have all the functionality they need. However, the obsolete software issue hides beneath the surface, making it easier for hackers to access the phone.
If you want to keep your old phone a little longer, make sure your device is as secure as possible. Try to implement as many suggestions as possible in this article. This will make it harder for someone else to infiltrate your phone and get your data. Alternatively, you can reuse your old Android phone, like turning it into a dashboard camera, smart speaker, etc.
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