Phones, security updates


(Marc Dando) #1

Hey there,

Apologies if this topic could quite neatly fit within a topic that’s already up and running somewhere (feel free to move it wherever it needs to be, forum powers that be).

I’m probably not the most clued up when it comes to security and mobile phones. For instance, I’ve got a Motorola (Moto G6 Play) phone and I noticed an article on Digital Trends where it’s stated that it’ll get security updates for two years.

So I hope this isn’t a daft question but does this mean that it’s unwise to still use the phone after a couple of years? Is it risky to continue to use a device when security updates have stopped rolling in?

Many thanks all,


(Simon B) #2

There is a risk.

There would need to be a serious exploit found in the specific version of the operating system that the phone is running, confirmed to affect the specific device that you’re using. But just because an exploit exists doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get targeted by it. If you’re only installing apps from the Google Play Store (which has it’s own antivirus and malware scanners) and not downloading anything from dodgy websites you’ll most likely be fine.

It’s probably wise to at least be thinking about getting a new phone once your device is no longer getting security updates, though. Doesn’t necessarily have to be a flagship - most midrange new devices should be getting supported for a few years, too.


(Marc Dando) #3

That’s informative, thanks for that, @simonb

I guess it’s best to be cautious, especially since my bank account (Monzo) lives on my phone :sweat_smile:


(Andre Borie) #4

There have been instances of malware being in the Play Store so I wouldn’t consider it a silver bullet… however Play Store malware is the least of your concerns in the grand scheme of things… the real risk comes from remotely exploitable vulnerabilities like through SMS/MMS (why is the latter still a thing btw?), or the outdated built-in browser.

Honestly, just buy an iPhone or a Google Pixel.


(👨‍💻) #5

Or just buy a Moto G every 2 years and still have change in your pocket.


(Ravi) #6

Why would Chrome be outdated?


#7

My inclination would be to suggest an Android One phone if someone is security conscious and didn’t want to splash out on an iPhone or Pixel. Any reason for suggesting Moto G over Android One phones?


(👨‍💻) #8

No, not at all. The Android one series of phones are not something I have used, but it seems like a good concept.

I personally owned several Moto G’s and I knew the cost of them. Therefore, I knew if I brought 3 of them over 6 years, I would have spent significantly less than I would if I brought - say - the Iphone Xr (£749). I would have also had 1 year extra support over the 5 years you get with an iphone*.

*good luck getting 5 years use out of an iphone battery (please insert additional costs for replacement batteries over that duration).


#9

Out of interest, how soon after Google releases a security update do they come through on Moto G?

I’ve never had a Moto G or Android One phone, but my understanding is Android One phones get security updates immediately and also get immediate OS updates (like Pixel).


(👨‍💻) #10

Takes forever on the Moto G series. On the subject of software updates, get an iPhone or a pixel if you want to be up to date.

You get the security updates every couple months, but it does nothing to the function of the phone.

I don’t know about Android one phones.


(Simon B) #11

Android One line is a good shout. In the UK, the new Nokia devices are probably the most widely available Android One devices. Picked up a Nokia 7.1 for my aunt recently and it’s a great midranger.