Which?, a consumer watchdog, has found that more than 1 billion Android devices are potentially vulnerable to attack – simply because they are running an older version of the OS.
My Broadband reports that researchers found 40% of Android users are no longer receiving security updates. This puts their devices at risk of data theft, malware infestation, and other attacks.
“Anyone using an Android phone released around 2012 or earlier – including popular models like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Sony Xperia S, should be especially concerned since it’s likely they will be running a version of Android that does not include various security enhancements Google has been rolling out since,” the watchdog says.
Devices that only recently lost security support in the form of Android updates will not encounter security problems immediately. The risk of these users being hacked will only increase going forward, however, says Which?.
“It’s very concerning that expensive Android devices have such a short shelf life before they lose security support – leaving millions of users at risk of serious consequences if they fall victim to hackers,” said Which? Computing editor Kate Bevan.
“Google and phone manufacturers need to be upfront about security updates – with clear information about how long they will last and what customers should do when they run out.”
Users whose smartphones are out of date are advised to be very careful what they download and what links they click on. Which? says that installing a mobile antivirus and backing up your data may help mitigate the impact of threats.
Android Users Slow to Install Update
Android 10 is only installed on 9.98% of all Android devices. In comparison, iOS 13 is installed on 77% of all Apple devices sold in the last four years.
Android 9 is installed on 36.15% of devices, which include devices from manufacturers such as Samsung, Huawei, LG, Sony, Nokia releases from last year.
There are even some Android users who are still running even older versions, including 3.20% that are running Android 4.2 on their smartphones. Android 4.2 was released in 2012.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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