The costs of some new telephones are astronomical, so it’s no surprise many individuals are actually contemplating refurbished telephones to get a barely older telephone for considerably much less cash than when it was new.There are plenty of locations you should buy a refurbished telephone together with Music Magpie, CeX and SmartFoneStore. All will examine over the telephones that they’ve sourced, be certain that key options are working correctly and assign them a grade so consumers know what to anticipate by way of their situation.
It’s definitely good for the atmosphere because it’s higher to maintain utilizing an digital gadget than ship it to landfill, however there are some dangers related to shopping for a tool that’s two and even three years outdated.
One is that the battery might have considerably much less capability than when it was new. Batteries are technically consumables, however telephone makers seal them inside so it’s probably not doable to interchange them.
However, one other situation is one thing that we reported again in March: many Android telephones obtain software program updates for less than two or three years earlier than producers cease supporting these fashions.
While you may miss out on some options in newer variations of Android, the actual downside is the dearth of safety updates. This opens the door for hackers as any vulnerabilities in a specific model of Android will stay unpatched by these updates.
It’s an issue that has existed for a protracted whereas within the Android world: Apple helps iPhones for longer and Android makers would do nicely to comply with go well with.
A brand new Which? investigation in May 2020 discovered that nearly a 3rd of telephones on sale at CeX had already stopped receiving safety updates however that there was no indication or warning to consumers that this was the case – and there nonetheless isn’t now.
20% of telephones on sale at Music Magpie have been discovered to be exterior of assist for these updates, however the firm has since eliminated these units from sale. It stated that it’ll present data so consumers know if a telephone has stopped getting safety updates to allow them to bear this in thoughts earlier than shopping for.
SmartFoneStore has additionally added a warning when you’ve drilled down and chosen a specific telephone, together with a hyperlink to search out out extra details about the difficulty.
It’s good to see some retailers taking the issue severely, and these may be good locations to purchase a used telephone as a result of, not like a non-public vendor on ebay or Gumtree, you get a guaranty with them.
Here’s extra on refurbished vs used telephones.
If there is no such thing as a data from a vendor about safety updates, then the onus is on you to examine on a producer’s web site if a telephone nonetheless receives updates or not.
Some widespread refurbished telephones which don’t get safety updates any longer embrace:
Apple iPhone 5
Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018)
Samsung Galaxy S7
Google Pixel XL
Of course, there are many telephones that you just could be contemplating which can cease getting updates within the close to future such because the Pixel 2, iPhone 5s, OnePlus 5 and Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017 mannequin).
Is it protected to make use of a telephone that doesn’t get safety updates?
In quick, no. It’s the identical as our recommendation for customers of Windows 7, which is now not supported by Microsoft. Using a tool that doesn’t obtain new safety updates is dangerous. You could be fortunate and haven’t any issues, however you may additionally find yourself putting in an app that features malware which exploits a safety gap which hasn’t been patched.
The penalties might be absolutely anything: it actually relies upon upon what the vulnerability is. Cybercriminals wish to steal your identification and your cash, they usually’ll use any means to take action.
If you might have unwittingly purchased a telephone that doesn’t get safety updates (or are nonetheless utilizing a telephone you’ve had for a number of years) there are some issues you are able to do to scale back the chance of being hacked.
Install a great antivirus app (Android solely)
Only set up apps from respected app shops (although this isn’t a 100% assure of security)
Don’t grant pointless permissions while you set up new apps
Don’t faucet on unsolicited hyperlinks in messages or attachments in emails
So-called phishing messages or emails are designed to trick you into considering they’re from a professional firm so that you hand over private particulars resembling your account password and even monetary data. It’s a good suggestion to be taught to identify these pretend messages.