Google has released its annual Android security report, and it had both good and bad revelations about the state of the Android ecosystem. The bad is that more than 420 million Android gadgets are at serious risk. That's because Google only releases security patches for Android versions 4.4.4 and up.
More than 30% of the Android gadgets in the world are running older versions of Android. That means they'll never get security fixes for some major Android security flaws. Plus, as older versions they generally have fewer security measures than later versions of Android. So, what's the good news?
The good news, according to the report, is that despite the flaws in Android, less than 1% of Android gadgets were infected with malware last year. That's still 14 million gadgets, but the majority of those were older, in other countries and already rooted, which weakened their defenses.
Even the worst attack of 2015, called Ghost Push, which tried to install on Android gadgets 3.5 billion times only succeeded on 4 million gadgets. Again, that sounds like a big number, but it's less than one-third of 1% of the Android gadgets out there.
Regularly upgrading to newer Android gadgets and installing security updates as they become available are good ways to stay safe. You should also avoid installing apps from third-party apps stores or from links in text messages and emails.
It also helps to have a security app on your gadget. This can scan new apps for malicious content and block them before they install.