Published On: Mon, Apr 8th, 2024

Update your Pixel now – Google issues urgent smartphone security fix

Although Android has a reputation for being less secure than Apple’s iPhone and its iOS software, that is an unfair badge – Android smartphones are not inherently less secure than iPhones. Both Apple and Google send out regular software updates to keep your phone as secure as possible and to stop hackers getting access to your phone or data.

This week though it’s Google’s turn to plug some security holes for users of its Pixel phones. The tech firm has issued an urgent software update for Pixel models after two high-level security issues were discovered.

Every month Google pushes out a security update, known as a patch, for Pixel and other Android phones. The patch sent out for April contains fixes for 28 Android security vulnerabilities and 25 specifically for Pixel phones. But as first spotted by GrapheneOS, two of the vulnerabilities have been exploited by hackers already – meaning if you have a Pixel and haven’t installed the new update, you could be at risk.

According to Google, the two flaws “may be under limited, targeted exploitation” by spyware companies. Spyware is malicious software that can be installed on your phone without your knowledge, and can then be used to steal your sensitive data and information, sometimes resulting in fraud.

It’s rare for security issues like this to be widely tapped into by criminals as it might require physical access to your device, but sometimes criminals can steal data remotely. That’s why Google issues regular security updates – so if you’re someone who doesn’t update your phone’s software, you should start making a habit of it. The newest Android phones should be getting monthly updates.

The best way to stay on top of your phone security is to go into your Settings app and find the software update section to check if you have any updates waiting to download. You can also turn on automatic updates to ensure you don’t miss any important patches.

We reviewed the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro when they launched six months ago and were very impressed. They are two of the best Android phones you can buy – the Pixel 8 in particular is well-priced and a more pocketable size. Both have excellent screens and cameras and seven years of software updates – meaning they should stay secure until 2030, which is very impressive and a market-leading promise.

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