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Security & privacy

Update your phone now! Bug lets hackers take over

Kim tells you all the time to keep your internet-enabled devices updated — and for good reason. Updates help preserve your system’s integrity and protect the sensitive data within.

It’s easy to ignore update notifications, but the inconvenience of updating can be the difference between a phone that is safe, secure and works properly, and one that is vulnerable to outside threats or malfunctions. Tap or click to discover the five things you must do to protect your phone from hackers.

As we settle into the new year, Android released its first update of 2020. Google recently announced a fix to a critical issue and expressed the importance of updating your phone immediately. Here’s what else Google had to say.

Google gives you a warning

The first security bulletin of the new decade focuses on a bug that could allow a remote attacker to access your Android device through a weakness in the Media framework. The vulnerability is of such a severe nature, Google deemed it “critical.”

In addition to addressing this bug fix, there are six other issues that are resolved with this update that will be available for phones running Android 8, 8.1, 9 and 10.

RELATED: Tap or click to learn which apps are most likely to ruin your Android phone.

Google reports it informed Android partners of the security problem over a month ago, so the patch should be released soon.

How to check your operating system

Uncertain on whether this security update pertains to your Android phone? To confirm what operating system your device is currently running, go to Settings and click on About device. Scroll down and look for the Android version.

Though it is typical for system updates and security patches to install automatically, you can check whether you have an update available in a few steps. Open Settings and click Software Updates.

For some Android models, you will need to click About phone/device and tap on System updates. Choose Check for updates.

Note: Instructions may vary according to the model, manufacturer and operating system of your device.

An update is your best bet

Updating your mobile device, along with any tech that runs an operating system, is of the utmost importance. Without regular updates, your gadget becomes a playground for cybercriminals. Tap or click to uncover the seven online security basics you really need to stop ignoring.

Here are a few tips to help ensure your device is secure:

  • Never miss out on critical security patches. The protection of your device and sensitive data depends on them.
  • Change up your passwords. Use the same password across all your accounts, and you make it easy for your personal info to fall into the wrong hands.
  • Back up your data. Whether you have data on your desktop or mobile device, create a backup via an external hard drive, USB drive or the cloud.
  • Be watchful of the permissions you grant. Limit the permissions you provide app creators and advertisers. When you allow authorizations, you grant access to a host of personal information.

Ensure 2020 starts off the right way. Protect your device and personal data. Update, update, update!

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