Google went on-record to confirm that the company has no intentions of fixing bugs in the default browsers found on Android Jelly Bean or older phones. This decision leaves millions of people owning an aging Android phone at high risk of a security attack. Not all Android phones are upgraded to the latest OS like Apple, so it leaves users with limited choices.
Security on mobile is an extremely important aspect of protecting people's information. The widespread of smartphones has encouraged people to rely on their phones more than ever. The feasibility of a smartphone makes it a preferred choice for most mobile owners to store sensitive information on smartphones and also carry out mobile banking. With Google ending security support for Android Jelly Bean and older smartphones, users are exposed to attacks.
End Of Support: The Decision Goes Official
Google's decision came to light after security researchers and firms in WebView found a serious bug in default browsers for Android versions 4.3 and earlier. In a response to the discovery, Google opened up on Friday stating that it will not patch the threat, Wall Street Journal reported. Android Jelly Bean and older versions cover nearly two-thirds of more than a billion Android phones in use.
According to WSJ, the reason behind Google's decision is that fixing the issue will require several code lines, which will bring on a horde of uncontrollable problems. Google's Android platform is constantly evolving and developers tweak the OS in thousand ways each month.
Upgrade is the Key
In order to stay protected, it is a wise decision to upgrade to the latest mobile OS. Currently, Android's 4.4 KitKat and 5.0 Lollipop are entirely under Google's protection. If your handset is compatible with the supported OS, there is a good chance to sway bugs and security threats coming your way.
But what if your handset's OS support ends at Jelly Bean? Sadly, your alternate option is to upgrade your handset. There are a lot of Android phones that come with a budget price tag and still support Lollipop. If you have been thinking of upgrading for some time now, it is the right time to act on your thoughts.
How to Overcome Threats on Jelly Bean
If you are not willing to give up your current handset, which does not run beyond Android Jelly Bean, fret not because there is a work around this too.
In a Google+ post on Friday, Adrian Ludwig, head of Android security, addressed the issue along with some tips on how to stay protected while using Android Jelly Bean-powered phones.
"Using an updatable browser will protect you from currently known security issues, and since it can be updated in the future it will also protect you against any issues that might be found in the future," Ludwig wrote. "It will also allow you to take advantage of new features and capabilities that are being introduced to these browsers."
As per Ludwig's suggestions, using updated versions of Chrome or Firefox browser will fend off any threats on devices running on Android 4.3 and older versions.