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Mobile security: software updates

Mobile security app

Your mobile phone comes with you everywhere and helps you do almost everything, from keeping up with friends to paying your bills. That means we can sometimes forget just how vulnerable our smartphones might be to unsavoury types out to steal your personal details. While it can often seem like a hassle, it is essential to ensure your phone has the latest software updates installed to keep it secure. If you’re not convinced, we’ve highlighted the reasons why you should download the latest software updates for your phone and how to do so.

Why keep your OS up to date?

Updating your operating system might not be at the top of your list of priorities, especially if you’re happy with the way your phone is functioning, but it’s very important. Manufacturers aren’t only tweaking software to include new products, they’re working on ways to patch security holes and hinder hackers too – so it’s essential you take the updates when offered.

OS and security risks

Whenever a new operating system is released, cyber criminals get straight to work on trying to find a loophole or weakness they can exploit. After long enough, they are nearly always successful in finding a vulnerable area. To combat this, mobile phone software companies are constantly working on new and updated versions of their OS so that they can close security gaps and counter exploits. If you don’t bother to download the software updates, you’re leaving yourself open to viruses, spyware and other malware as well as potential cybercrime attacks.

iPhone 6S

How to update your operating system

Most devices also offer a way for you to check whether you’re due an update. Thinking you’ve not updated for a while? Check your settings menu. There you’ll find a Software Update or similar option that will allow you to double check whether you’re running the most recent version or not. If you’re using an Android phone, you’ll find this within Settings > About Phone > Software Update. On Apple devices, it’s Settings > General > Software Update.

Before you carry out your upgrade, be sure to back up all of your pictures, music and other media to the cloud or to your home computer. Everything should be protected throughout the update, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Consider downloading security software

If you want to help your phone stay as safe as it can be, you might want to consider downloading some additional security software. Programmes like Lookout Personal protect your smartphone and tablet from the sort of mobile threats that will try to steal your data. Avast! also offers great ways to protect your privacy from thieves or pirates, allowing you to feel safer as you enjoy your phone.

In case you missed it, check out our other post on how to stay safe online to ensure you’re at the top of your mobile security game!