A billion Android devices are at risk of being hacked because they are no longer protected by security updates.
The vulnerability could leave users around the world exposed to the danger of data theft, ransom demands and other malware attacks.
Anyone using an Android phone released in 2012 or earlier should be especially concerned, the report suggested.
According to the Android security bulletin, there were no security patches issued for the Android system in 2019 for versions below 7.0. Extrapolating this data, which concluded that two in five Android users worldwide were no longer receiving security updates.
This is how you can check if your phone is safe
- If your Android device is more than two years old, check whether it can be updated to a newer version of the operating system. If you are on an earlier version than Android 7.0 Nougat, try to update via Settings> System>Advanced System update
- If you can’t update, your phone could be at risk of being hacked, especially if you are running a version of Android 4 or lower. If this is the case be careful about downloading apps outside the Google Play store
- Also be wary of suspicious SMS or MMS messages
- Back up data in at least two places (a hard drive and a cloud service)
- Install a mobile anti-virus via an app, but bear in mind that the choice is limited for older phones.
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