What Are Android Security Updates, And Why Are They Important

Stay secure with What Are Android Security Updates. Learn why they matter and how to keep your device protected. Don’t leave your data at risk!

Using an Android phone, you will almost certainly get periodic notifications about available security updates. They can come anytime and promise to improve your Android phone while you fix one or two problems.

But what are security updates, and how important are they for your Android smartphone? Let’s take a look.

What are Android security updates?

What are Android security updates?

It provide patches or new features to fix existing vulnerabilities or protect against expected security issues. To better understand, consider your Android phone a military setting.

It can be highly fortified but has a secret passage no one knows about. As long as the enemy is not aware of the existence of the secret course, the place is safe. But this does not mean that the passage does not exist. 

Once the enemy found out, it would be a big problem for the military.
Similarly, if your Android phone has security holes, you can use your device usually. But this does not mean that problems do not exist; they do exist. Like a secret passage, malicious attackers can act as an entry point to attack your device when they discover vulnerabilities.

Security updates aim to identify those flaws and provide patches to prevent hackers or malicious people from exploiting them. Aside from patching flaws, Android security updates ensure that your device is updated with the latest available configurations, receives new features, and offers improved performance. It is crucial to purchase devices from smartphone brands that feature security updates.

If you’ve used your Android phone for a while, you could have downloaded one of these many updates but didn’t notice anything different. You might have had some stuck issues that you hoped would be fixed by a security update, but they remained.

So, do these Android security updates matter? How important is problem-solving? Is using an Android phone that is not receiving security updates safe?

How important are Android security updates?

Sometimes you may receive a security update even if your phone works optimally, raising doubts about its importance. It may make you feel that keeping your Android phone in sync with the latest updates is unnecessary. But it is, and here’s why.

Android, despite its many years of improvement, could be better. As new features emerge, further disadvantages appear. These flaws can be anything from relatively non-serious bugs to critical bugs that are dangerous for the day-to-day use of your Android phone. Your phone has a security flaw you don’t know about.

Why doesn’t Google fix Android security issues before launch?

If you’re wondering why Google doesn’t just fix security flaws before shipping Android, that’s a valid concern. Google’s Android development team is trying to do just that. However, the Android architecture is so big that the next Android OS version may never be ready if Google wants to fix all potential security flaws before it goes public.

Why doesn't Google fix Android security issues

It does not mean they deliberately ship the OS with flaws. Conversely, some flaws will only be discovered when the AOS is published and tried by end users after the more prominent Android community has thoroughly vetted it.

There are independent teams of researchers and ethical hackers who are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in every iteration of the Android OS. You can see ethical hackers in this context as people who work tirelessly to identify potential vulnerabilities that can be exploited to attack or take control of your Android device.

Connect with your friends on WhatsApp with the video call feature of this new application. The difference between them and bad actors is that once they find a vulnerability, they don’t use it to attack Android devices but secretly report it to Google so that the company can provide a patch for it in the next iteration of security updates.

It’s like a thief can find ways to break into your apartment, and then you’re told so you can fix it before the real thieves steal your stuff. Installing a security update is one of the most proactive security measures you can take to protect your Android phone. 

Android is open source.

There is another reason why you should embrace security updates. Since Android is an open-source OS, Google develops the basic version of it and makes it freely available. Licensing smartphone manufacturers can then modify Android’s publicly available base version, adapting it to their needs.

While this open-source nature encourages more “flavors” of Android, it also opens up the Android smartphone to more security issues beyond those of the base version of Android.

Visualize this. A smartphone manufacturer, such as Xiaomi, can modify or change some features on the Android platform to suit their devices. They can also add a new proprietary code to add new brand-specific features to their product. It makes its flavor of Android interesting in unique ways, but it also likely comes with its own security issues.

It makes it very important to get every security update possible. Sure, you might not know what’s being fixed, but most security flaws are set before you even realize they’re there. And that’s a good thing.

Some notable successes with Android security updates

Android security updates

If you still need convincing about the importance of security updates, here are some of the historical security flaws that have been fixed, some you may have yet to realize existed.

Stagefright exploit (2015)

This vulnerability allowed attackers to access an Android smartphone by sending a specially designed multimedia message. Who thinks receiving an MMS is a security risk? The vulnerability has been fixed in updates starting with Android 5.0.2.

QuadRooter vulnerability (2016)

The QuadRooter bug affected nearly a billion devices and was a vulnerability affecting Qualcomm chips. It was advanced. This vulnerability allowed attackers to gain root access to an Android device, giving them access to its camera, microphone, and pretty much everything else. It was fixed with updates starting from Android 6.0.1.

BlueBorne vulnerability (2017)

This vulnerability allowed attackers to gain access to an Android device’s Bluetooth without the need for pairing. They were fixed in updates starting from version 8.0. A similar Bluetooth-related vulnerability has been fixed with the December 2022 security updates.

Loophole (2019) The StrandHogg

The StrandHogg vulnerability allowed attackers to impersonate legitimate applications, permitting them to steal the data of those applications with access. It has been fixed in updates starting with Android 10.

Embrace Android security updates.

Receiving notifications for the next security update can be exciting for some but tiring for many people. The answer is yes if you’re considering whether the next security update is worth spending that extra bandwidth on.
You never know what vulnerability the next updates you get will fix. Why the risk? Get every security update that comes your way whenever you can.


What is the Importance of Android Security Updates?

These updates are significant for the safety and security of every Android device. These updates are released to fix bugs and loopholes in the operating system that hackers can exploit. Android devices run on open-source code, so they are more susceptible to security threats than proprietary code.

Android devices can be vulnerable to malware and other harmful exploits without regular security updates. Google develops these security updates to provide new features, fix bugs, and improve. End-users of Android phones should always install every security update as soon as they become available.

Device manufacturers like Xiaomi also release security updates regularly to keep their Android phones safe and secure. In summary, every Android device user must ensure their phone has the latest update to protect themselves from potential security threats.

How often should you expect security patches?

These are integral components of smartphones, and they promptly address various security-related concerns that could affect the user’s device. Security patches and updates are typically rolled out regularly depending on the Android version, device, and manufacturer.

The frequency of security updates varies among brands, with Google and Samsung generally known for the timely delivery of security patches. In contrast, OnePlus release its security updates less frequently. 

The device’s release date also influences the periodicity of security updates, with newer models receiving updates more frequently to keep up with the latest security threats. 

Nevertheless, smartphone owners should expect prompt security updates to their devices, regardless of the manufacturer, to ensure the most robust possible.

How long are security updates provided for Android devices?

 It is essential for the protection of phones from potential cyber threats. Most Android devices typically receive security patches for around two to three years after their initial release, depending on the manufacturer. 

Pixel phones, for example, receive updates for three years from their release. 

Device manufacturers such as Google and Samsung usually release it monthly to fix any security vulnerabilities found in their devices. However, older devices may only receive it for up to two to three years, leaving them susceptible to security breaches. By 2022, Google has announced that devices running on Android 10 or later must receive at least four years of security updates.

What is a Security Patch?

A security patch is a software update designed to fix vulnerabilities and protect against threats to an operating system or other software. Every security patch is an update that implements new protections against potentially malicious activities that a hacker might carry out.

It is typically released in response to identified vulnerabilities that may leave a system open to exploitation and are intended to improve the security of the software or plan in question. To ensure that these patches are installed on time, many operating systems are configured to notify users about new system updates as soon as they become available.

By staying up-to-date with the latest software and system updates, users can help ensure that their data and devices are protected against the latest security threats.

When will my Galaxy phone or tablet get a security update?

Samsung is typically good about providing security updates for its devices. They release monthly security updates for all their phones and tablets, usually within the first week or two of the month.

However, security updates can be delayed for several reasons, such as carrier testing, software bugs, and other unforeseen technical issues. It’s essential to ensure your device is up-to-date on security patches to prevent any vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.

To check for a security update on your Samsung phone or tablet, open Settings, navigate to Software Update, and tap Download and Install. Remember that some older models may receive security updates less frequently or at all, so it’s essential to ensure you have the latest device if you value security updates.