Author Topic: Smartphone security  (Read 633 times)

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Offline Maik

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Smartphone security
« on: Sunday, 15 April, 2018 @ 17:35:42 »
or smartphone insecurity, depending on how you see it.

I'm sure that all GGi regulars are aware of this stuff already but, for the benefit of any casual readers who chance upon it...

At best, your Android smartphone will receive security updates for three years. That's three years after it was released, not necessarily three years after you bought it. So, if you bought a (first generation) Google Pixel, released in October 2016, you'll get security updates until October 2019. If you've bought a Pixel 2, released in 2017, you'll be able to get security updates until October 2020. Pixel phones get security updates for at least 3 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store.

If you're not using a Google Pixel the update situation may be (a lot) worse. Some smartphone manufacturers don't issue all available security updates and some say they do, but lie. Android phone makers skip Google security updates without telling users

This is a fairly easy read that gives some explanation: Why Your Android Phone Isn’t Getting Operating System Updates and What You Can Do About It. Although it seems basically all you can do about it is buy a Pixel. If that's not an option, here's another easy read: Which Smartphone Manufacturers Are Best for Android Updates?

However, security updates aren't the only security feature on Android 'phones. Which is fortunate as Over 700,000 bad apps removed from Google Play store in 2017 including Phoney Android security apps in Google Play Store found distributing malware, tracking users.

Even without the malware Google has been tracking Android users even with location services turned off. Company confirms it receives mobile phone mast tracking data even with sim removed and privacy features active.

Apple users can relax a bit, it seems Apple will support their phones for around five years. Malware on iPhones isn't unknown but it doesn't seem as widespread as with Android. There again, the market share is around 85% Android / 15% Apple. That's maybe because Android 'phones are available at less cost than Apple, although the cheaper Android phones tend to be those lacking security updates.

This might be of interest: The 10 best ways to secure your Android phone