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Keeping mobile data safe by applying regular security updates to your Android device

Your smartphone is the remote control for your life, and you use it for everything from online banking and shopping to social media and work emails. As such, your device is full of important personal data, from login details for your accounts to personally identifiable information such as your ID number or medical aid info.

One of the best ways to keep your data safe is to ensure that you keep your operating system and apps up to date with the latest security and version updates. In the Android world, regular security updates and Google Play System Updates play a key role in improving security and stability on your device. These updates don’t usually include feature updates. Alcatel takes a closer look.

  • Why are security updates important?

Security updates for Android address software issues (or vulnerabilities) that could result in your phone and its data being ‘compromised’. They fix bugs that can cause security issues as well as addressing new attack techniques that malware authors and hackers are using. Security updates are not to be confused with the full version updates that Google delivers once a year or so to offer new features and functionality.

You can find your device’s Android version number, security update level, and Google Play system level in your Settings app. You’ll get notifications when updates are available for you, though your phone may well automatically apply security updates. To be on the safe side, you can follow these steps to check if an update is available:

    • Open your device’s Settings app.
    • Tap Security.
    • Check for an update:
      To check if a security update is available, tap Security update.
      To check if a Google Play system update is available, tap Google Play system update.
      Follow any steps on the screen.
  • What about apps?

Keeping your apps up to date will also help you to plug security gaps on your smartphone. Be especially careful to use the latest versions of apps like banking, social media, antimalware, and web browsers.  Note that Google often applies updates automatically if they are deemed to fix a critical security vulnerability.

You can also easily set things up to update all your Android apps automatically:

  1. Open the Google Play Store app Google Play.
  2. At the top right, tap the profile icon.
  3. Tap Settings and then Network Preferences and then Auto-update apps.
  4. Select an option: Over any network to update apps using either Wi-Fi or mobile data.
  • Or you can choose to update individual Android apps automatically:
  1. Open the Google Play Store app.
  2. At the top right, tap the profile icon.
  3. Tap Manage apps & device.
  4. Select Manage and then the app you want to update.
  5. Tap More, More.
  6. Turn on Enable auto update.
  7. When updates are available, the app updates automatically. To turn off automatic updates, turn off Enable auto update.

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