What are Android Security Patches and why should you care about them?

By | October 4, 2017

Android is based on Linux kernel. There is no doubt Linux is the best when it comes to security and strict development rules. However, we cannot say the same for Android. Android is always in the news for its low security as compared to other mobile operating systems like OS. Though with every new Android version Google developers try their best to address the issues and loopholes found in the previous version. A new Android version comes after every one year. So, it is a considerable long time to fix any security holes in the system. This is where the concept of security patches came in.

Why the concept of Security Patches came in?

As discussed, earlier all security issues were addressed with the next Android version. Google also used to fix the security issues in the previous Android versions. However, not all OEMs bothered about these security fixes. Most of the companies never released these security fixes for non-flagship devices. The cost of this was too high, and Google realized this. Therefore, Google cam with the idea of security patches.

Monthly Android Security Bulletins:

Since 2015, Android is working on security patches. Every month Google releases security bulletins which include information about all new security issues and their fixes. Google usually split these patches into different categories. However, we can categorize them into two main categories. First, one’s are kernel patches which specifically target all kernel level security issues and bugs.

Also Read: How to Locate Stolen Note 8

The other one is more general category; system patches which target rest of the Android. Google releases a new security patch right after one month of finding the vulnerability. This is truly a great turn around time.

Why are Android Security Patches Important?

Google security patches fixes Remote Code Execution, Information Disclosure, Elevation of Privilege, and Denial of Service vulnerabilities. All these vulnerabilities are critical. They can give special access to hackers without the consent of the owner. In fact, owner will not even have an idea if his device is vulnerable to these attacks. So, it is important that one must have latest security patch installed on the phone to make sure that they are safe from hackers. Installing latest Android security patches will make sure that you are safe from all Android security issues and vulnerabilities.

Is there a proper security patches system?

Google is all in to make Android secure and better for the regular user. The company is even releasing monthly security fixes since 2015. However, it comes down to manufacturers. Are they serious enough to implement these security fixes on their current and future devices? Google is pushing all Android manufacturers to take it seriously. Therefore, most of the manufacturers are now providing at least two years of Android security patches support for most of their support. For the time being it is pretty good and we can expect that the support timeframe may increase up to 3 years in near future.

How to Check Android Security Patch Level?

You can easily check the Android security patch level installed on your phone. To find it follow the below steps.

  1. Open Settings on your phone.
  2. Go to About Device.
  3. Open Software information and scroll down. Here you will find the Android security patch level.

If it is 2-3 months old then please check for the updates right away. You might find the latest security patch for your phone. Download and install it to make sure your phone is secure.

Our Recommendation:

We will recommend our readers to keep checking for the latest updates through the software update section of the phone. You should also switch phone after every 2 to 3 years because at one point OEMs will stop releasing the security updates. We also recommend you to buy a phone with strong custom ROM community as it is quite helpful.

 

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