How to Secure an Older Android Device

Thanks to its speed, simplicity, and customization abilities, Android has remained in the lead for tech enthusiasts everywhere for years now. Recently though, some issues that might threaten the OS’s reputation have been coming up.

New android Updates Unavailable for Older Devices

The latest report from Which? has revealed that 40% of Android users cannot use any of the serious security updates all due to the fact that their Android devices are outdated.

Most of the phones that bring on this issue are the ones developed in 2012 or earlier. Nevertheless, any Android device about to turn 3+ years is under the same risk. Unfortunately, Android manufacturers have a tendency of abandoning a model after only a couple of years, which eventually leads to the model not being able to support any new updates, resulting in serious inconvenience for its users.

Lack of Android Updates Consequences

It may not seem like a big deal at first: who in the world would go after your 2012 Android, right?

The answer to that is…pretty much everyone. Many cyber criminals specifically target older devices because they are so much easier to hack into. It doesn’t really make sense to go after the newest devices that are filled with top-notch security software when there are so many unprotected older phones and tablets.

If a hacker gets their hands on your phone or manages to attack it with malware/viruses/keyloggers/etc., you can say goodbye to privacy and security. Let’s not forget that many small businesses suffer from the hands of hackers as well, all it takes to ruin your business sometimes is to have an old Android phone. This leads to all sorts of unpleasant situations, like being blackmailed, impersonated, or just messed with.

The truth is that the majority of users are not really educated on data security and constantly unknowingly endanger themselves online. The reality is, in the day and age of such fact connection and data exchange, everyone should take measures to protect their privacy.

There is not really a way to stop all cybercrime at once, but there is a way you can avoid being its next victim. Although phone manufacturers refuse to upgrade your old device’s security level, its customizability can help you add an extra layer of safety to your Internet activity, no matter how old the phone is.

How To Minimize Security Risks on Older Android Devices

Fortunately, we have access to numerous solutions that can minimize your risk of being targeted by hackers and most of them are pretty simple to use, all it might take is a bit of your time to get started.

Which?’s report has led some governments, such as the UK, to take measures into their own hands. Nevertheless, we won’t be able to see the results of their efforts for a while, so for now, the security and safety of your old Android are in your own hands.

  1. Traffic encryption

VPN(short for virtual private network) is a necessary safety tool that encrypts all data that is being sent to or from your phone, tablet or any other device. This makes the process of accessing your personal information so much harder to hack. The process becomes so much more complicated, most cybercriminals won’t even bother to deal with it.

VPN becomes a necessity on those occasions you use an unsecured network (like a public one in a library or a mall). The truth is, so many people fall victim to hackers exactly because of using a public network without any additional security layer.

The risk enhances even further when it comes to outdated devices lacking fresh security updates. If you are looking to avoid these situations, I suggest you download a VPN App for Android ( right now. You will then have no need to fear for your security and privacy.

  1. Getting the Latest Android Update

While part of the problem is caused by the manufacturers who have neglected the models made in 2012 or earlier, some people put themselves at risk by not updating their phones at all no matter how old the model is.

Most Android updates focus on strengthening the security of your devices. Ignoring these updates puts you at risk of becoming a magnet for malware, hackers, and any other security threat imaginable. There is a reason manufacturers recommend updating your phone regularly and notify you constantly whenever there is a new update out.

If you are one of those people who have been ignoring all the update notifications for years or months, update it now! Even though you will not be able to install the latest updates on an old phone, you will still upgrade your security to a certain degree.

  1. Avoiding Suspicious Android Apps

Google Play Store is well known for its lack of quality control as it does contain hundreds, if not more, of dangerous apps that Google is failing to monitor properly.

Unlike Apple’s iOS, Android is an open OS, which makes it a lot easier for anyone to upload their app to Google Play Store. Numerous occasions of disguised malware and scams have proved this to be a big issue. 

Since the outdated phones risk to fall weak before these sorts of scams, you should be extra attentive when downloading anything from Google Play Store.

Staying Updated

Just because you cannot rely on security being provided by the manufacturers, does not mean you should neglect it as well. Until companies decide to support all models, including the most outdated ones, our privacy is in our own hands.

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