When you are planning to make a purchase decision in getting a new Android smartphone, it might be very tempting to get a used or refurbished smartphone. Refurbished Android Phones cost as less as half the price of a brand-new smartphone, but these devices might come with an old version of Android and this might impose security constraints on the device making it riskier to use.
Also read: Buyback Offers
Most of the smartphones stop getting critical security updates after about 2 years that can help keep your data safe. If you are planning to buy a used or a refurbished Android phone then it is important to consider a few factors and risks before making the decision.
It is common for hackers to discover a new loophole and the phone manufacturers generally quickly send in security fixes patching the loopholes. Over a period of time smartphones get multiple security patches that help with the security of the phone and this is a continuous cycle of finding and fixing security issues in software.
Also read: Mobile Repair
Most of the manufacturers including Samsung, Google, OnePlus, and more support a phone for a specific period, and each new device that is released with a newer version of Android require a new set of threat assessment and patching. This is a lot of work to find and patch security loopholes for each smartphone and it becomes difficult for a brand to extend these security patches for more than a few years.
Also Read: Mi, Apple, Samsung Dominated The Second-hand Phone Market In 2019
If your phone doesn’t run on the latest security patch then it is vulnerable for a few attaches, there have been reports that suggest that a vulnerable smartphone could allow full access to everything on the smartphone including personal and professional data, banking information, and more.
You could go to the Settings app and check for the Software Updates to see if there are any pending updates for your smartphone. If your smartphone says that it is running on the latest version, but the last update was several months ago then it might mean that your device is no longer supported.
Most users do not even realize when the safety of their device is compromised and Cybercriminals try to access the device as subtly as possible without triggering any alarms. Lookout for unknown but high data usage and sluggish performance which are both reasons that can also be attributed to older hardware as they degrade with time.
The best way to ensure your data safety is by not using a smartphone that is no longer supported for latest software updates, if you do not wish to upgrade just yet then there are a few things you can do that could help to an extent with your security.
- Make sure that you have the latest software installed on your smartphone if you purchased a used or a refurbished smartphone then do a full factory reset and only install apps from the Google Play Store and avoid third-party sources.
- Avoid banking apps or syncing company email and storing private pictures on your old phone, reports suggest that hackers might be able to manipulate a lot of data on the device and it is thus a good choice to keep as less data on it as possible
- Make sure you have Google Play Protect enabled and set to scan all the installed apps to ensure that your device doesn’t get affected with malware
While it is always a good option to upgrade to a newer smartphone when the support cycle of a device dies down, sometimes it is not possible to upgrade due to financial or other constraints. In these cases, it is extremely important to take additional care of your smartphone to keep it in good running condition.
Also Read: 6 Best Android Security Apps To Keep Your Device Safe