Keeping your mobile device updated to the latest operating system version is critical if you value online safety and privacy. New updates tighten your phone’s security, preventing hackers from accessing your data. Sometimes a system update adds more features.
You might assume that you’ll never be a target for cybercriminals, but it only takes one infected app or compromised link to expose your information. When threats to mobile devices become known to Google or Apple, they usually act swiftly to patch them.
Read on to see how the latest Android update protects you from critical vulnerabilities and how to get it.
Here’s the backstory
If you have an Android phone, you should update now to get the latest vulnerability patches. Google rolled out a March update for Android versions 10, 11, and 12, fixing three critical flaws.
According to Google’s blog post, the most dangerous of the flaws is a “remote escalation of privilege” bug, which hackers can use to grant themselves high-level access. It adds that no user interaction is required for the escalation, so criminals can infiltrate your device without you knowing about it.
There are two more critical flaws found in Qualcomm’s closed-source components. Qualcomm is one of the world’s largest chipmakers and wireless technology service developers. Most Android devices will have some Qualcomm parts inside. The update contains the following corrections:
- One high severity flaw in the Android Framework
- Five high severity flaws in the kernal components
- Three high severity flaws in MediaTek components
- Five high severity flaws in Qualcomm components
- One update to the Google Play system
- Two critical and five high severity flaws in Qualcomm closed-source components
What you can do about it
The best way to protect yourself and your data against hackers and cybercriminals is to keep your device updated to the latest version. No matter how minor the update is, it’s in your best interest to install it immediately.
To see which version of Android you currently have installed:
- Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Near the bottom, tap System and then System update.
- This will show your Android version. If there is an update available, follow the steps on screen to install it.
To specifically check for Android security updates:
- Open your device’s Settings app.
- Tap Security.
- To check if a security update is available, tap Google Security checkup.
- Tap on Google Play system updates to see if there is an update for that portion of the operating system.
- Follow any steps on the screen to complete the upgrade.