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What is Android Security Patch level and Why It Matters

If you’re here, you might be asking yourself What is the Android security patch? Is it more than a notification on my phone? Yes. The term “patch” is really quite self-explanatory – a piece of software released when a security issue is discovered. It covers the “hole” in the security of your phone, preventing hackers from exploiting it.

Security issues are usually kept a secret from the general public – unless an attack happens. Generally, only the developers are informed about it. Most of the times, the patch will be added to the already scheduled update – so you might not even know there was a problem. This is why it is of utmost importance to keep your software up-to-date.

If you’d like to know more about Android and it’s security, read our article Has Android Become the New Security Madhouse?

What does the Android Security Patch do?

Working Devices
Keep your devices updated

Unfortunately, we often ignore security – we have the feeling that nothing bad can happen to us. But Security Patches are like helmets, they prevent unwanted accidents.

Android – a Linux based OS – has malware lurking around, waiting for a chance to corrupt your device- metaphorically speaking. This is where Android Security Patches come in, to keep your data and your device safe.

How important is the Android Security Patch Level?

Basically, the Android Security Patch Level is just the last security patch your device got updated with. It is a pretty big deal to have the latest ones because bugs and issues appear on a daily basis, and you never know when one can harm your device.

Security patches
Updates are really important

While a security update will not add any features or novelties to your device, they are just like insurance that nothing bad will happen. And the more and more our lives become digital, security becomes paramount.

Even though you might find updates pesky and you really don’t feel like pausing your daily activities to deal with them, they really are a safety net against nasty malware that could, for example, steal your credit card details or bank information. You wouldn’t want that, would you?

Method 1: How to find out what Android Security Patch you have

Every month, Google releases a new patch to fix the latest vulnerabilities. Pixel and Nexus phones get it immediately, but for the other devices, it is really up to the manufacturer to get with the program, approve and release the patch for their devices.

So how can you check what security patch you have?

Go to your settings, then select System. The name may vary, to About Phone, or just About – it should be the place where information about your phone is displayed.

Security Patch Level
Security Patch Level

What you see is the date when Google released the patch you have – even if you received it later.

Method 2: How to update the Android Security Patch Level

You cannot install the security patch by yourself by downloading it from somewhere – unfortunately. It mostly depends on the phone’s manufacturer. But, like always, there are a couple of solutions.

Step 1

If you have a Google Phone – like the Pixel or Nexus devices – you will get the updates immediately, so you have nothing to worry about. Also, devices with Android one OS (some Xiaomi and Nokia) get these updates on a regular basis.

Step 2

Flagship devices – Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi or OnePlus – usually provide software for 2 years. This is available only for the higher-end devices, though.

Step 3

If you don’t fit into the two categories above, do not worry. You can still install a custom ROM for your phone. You have to be careful with these, though, because it depends on the ROM you use – the most popular, company – affiliated ones – will probably get the updates, but the ones made be independent developers have lower chances of getting the OTA updates.

We strongly advise you to go through the documentation, forums, reviews, before relying on a new custom ROM for your phone.

Luckily for you, we already have a couple of lists with the best custom ROMs available, to help you with your research:

The Android Security Patch Level – one update a month, keeps the hackers away!

New security threats are discovered every day, tearing holes in your device’s security system. All you can do, though, is to update your security patch level as often as you can and keep an eye out for any news or promising custom ROMs that could help.

If you have any more questions related to the Android Security Patch Level, please let us know in the comments below!

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