Why 35% of Android phones and tablets become more vulnerable to hackers and viruses

A study by antivirus company Bitdefender tells us that 35% of phones and Android will be more vulnerable to viruses and hackers. We explain why and how you can protect yourself.

The Android operating system for smartphones and tablets gives a lot of freedom to its users.

However, this freedom offered by the so-called “open” system is also a double-edged sword. Unlike Apple’s iOS, you are more likely to get infected with a virus or malware on Android.

Although Google provides security updates for Android, only certain versions are eligible for them.

With the arrival of Android 13 in the fall of 2022, even more phones and tablets will therefore lose access to security updates.

3 year security updates for most Android devices

The study conducted by the antivirus company Bitdefender paints a picture of the situation that awaits many users of smartphones and tablets running on Android.

Scientists point out that approximately 70% of smartphones on the planet run on Android.

Of all these Android users:

  • 36.47% would roll on Android version 12
  • 29.15% would run on Android 11
  • 15.03% would run on Android 10

Here is a graph of the distribution of Android users by software version. Credit: Bitdefender.

The catch is that most Android device manufacturers only offer security updates from Google for 3 years. In short, on the last three versions of Android.

There are a few exceptions, especially on the Google Pixel 6 page, which supports security updates for 5 years. They need to promote their products … Samsung’s latest Galaxy S and Galaxy Z models are also eligible for 4 years of security support.

As of this writing, it means that anyone with a device running Android 9 or lower will no longer receive security updates.

As we can see in the Bitdefender graph, there are still quite a few people who fall into this category. That would be 20% of Android users worldwide.

The problem will increase when Android 13 is released in the fall of 2022, as anyone running on Android 10 will no longer be eligible for security updates.

Therefore, it is 35% of Android users who will be vulnerable to security breaches that could lead to the intrusion of hackers on our devices and the installation of viruses and malware.

What should you do to protect yourself without updating?

This 3-year support cycle of Android security updates is frustrating to say the least. It reminds us of the importance of looking at which version of a phone you intend to buy is running, and whether its support cycle is higher.

Still, if we have an older smartphone or an older Android tablet, that does not mean our device is outdated. The proof is that many are still running on old versions like Android 5 released in 2014.

This means that we must be extra vigilant and give ourselves protective solutions.

No wonder Bitdefender published this study. They just want to remind you that their mobile antivirus is there to protect older devices.

This removes nothing from the point he shares. Many devices are and will become more vulnerable to hacker attacks!

You can find my tips below to equip yourself and protect your Android devices.

The best antivirus for Apple’s Android and iOS phones and tablets

What to do if your phone or tablet is not compatible with the new version of Android

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