There is a big focus on Cyber Security at the moment, we all hear in the news and online about keeping our systems secure. With Malware, Adware and phishing attacks becoming the norm it is imperative we keep up withs security but did you know the majority of Smartphones no longer get security updates?
When we talk about Smartphone market share at the time of writing Android has 74.15% market share based on statistics from Statscounter. Unfortunately a large amount of Smartphones out there are abandoned by the Manufacturers and no longer receiving any security updates or any updates at all.
This does not just happen with budget phones, even big brands like Samsung, HTC and Sony are known to ditch the old Smartphones when they bring out new devices. The best record for updates are from Google and Apple, the support goes on much longer and they are quicker to roll out the security updates.
New Android Updates Doesn’t Mean You Get Them Too
Google builds Android but we need you to understand there is a big distinction between Google’s Android and the Android on another brand’s device. Manufacturer’s build a flavour of Android with a custom skin known as a ROM (Read Only Memory) and this is often customised with their own skin, selection of software and when licensed by a Carrier their own applications.
If a known security issue is highlighted and subsequently fixed by Google and released as a fix to Android, it is then the responsibility of the Manufacturer or Carrier to test with their own device and then roll this update out to customers. This often becomes a lengthy process and devices can go months without essential security fixes or never receive them at all.
Does Apple Abandon Smartphones too?
Short answer is Yes! However this takes a lot longer, Apple are known to continue supporting devices for many years and only discontinuing support when devices are unable to support later Operating Systems due to performance as the devices require more processing power and RAM than what is available on older devices.
Apple provide security fixes and also keep all Applications in what is called a Walled Garden. This means only applications from Apple’s own store is accepted, compare that to Android which is known as Open Source and allows installs both within the Play Store and direct.
Surely I Will Be Safe?
That is often what people think, it is the “It Can’t happen to me” attitude, we should all be vigilant and be careful what we install on our devices. When you install an application on your Android device it will ask for permission to access certain data on your Smartphone such as access to the Camera, Contacts, Calendar etc. Now if you install an application such as a flashlight and if it asks for permission to access your contacts then you know there is something wrong.
Make sure you check what access you have approved for the applications you install. You can install an Anti-Virus program such as Kaspersky or Malwarebytes this will check for both Malware and Viruses. There are others available but this should be down to what you decide to use, we just make our recommendations.
Take the same precautions on your mobile device as you do on your computer with regard to messaging and your online safety Staysafeonline.org
Are You Worried About Your Safety?
If you are worried about if your Smartphone is getting updates and you need a bit of reassurance, you can get in touch with us and we will be happy to help. Simply complete our form below or call 01423 423068.