Important things that you should know if you own a used or refurbished phone to avoid data privacy breach that might compromise your personal information. 

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You might be planning to replace your old phone or upgrading it by buying a new one. Most of the time you fall into buying a used or refurbished phone because they are cheaper compared to the new ones. However, in buying, is it safe to own a phone like this?

Phones that were released years ago may not be updated. If phones were not regularly updated, there is a great chance that hackers can get into your phone and use your private and personal information in fraudulent activities. 

Here are some things that you should consider in buying a used or refurbished phone:

1. OS Security Patch of a Phone

Every time hackers discover a new hole to exploit your device, the phone maker or manufacturer immediately fixes it by sending some updates. However, these updates are most of the time neglected by the owner because for them it is time-consuming. 

That is the reason why every time there is a request to update, sometimes that means that someone is trying to hack your device. It is just like a cycle. The attack continues so as the request to update. This is the way to keep your phone protected against known threats and your phone be updated.

2. Until When Manufacturers Stop Sending Out Security Patches?

Phone manufacturers and makers such as Samsung, Sony, Googe, and HTC can only provide support for a certain period of time. However, Google and phone manufacturers usually cut off their support after three years. This means that your device is no longer protected after this year. 

3. Does It Mean That Using an Up to Date Phone Safe?

Christoph Hebeisen, director of Security Intelligence Company Lookout, said, "We do not consider it safe to run a device that does not receive security patches. Critical security vulnerabilities become public knowledge every few weeks or months, and once a system is out of support, then users who continue to run it becomes susceptible to the exploitation of known vulnerabilities."

A vulnerable device could allow hackers to have access to everything that is on your phone. That includes your personal and company emails, contact information, your banking details, or audio of your phone calls. Take note also that hackers continue to exploit your device as you continue to use a compromised device. 

4. How to Know if Your Phone is Out of Date?

If you want to know that the device you want to buy is updated or not, you just have to go to settings and check "software updates." Typically, it has a time as to when the phone was last updated. If the phone has the latest OS software but the latest version was installed many months or years ago, that's bad news. That means the phone is no longer supported. 

The rule of thumb that you always have to remember is not to buy a used or refurbished phone if it is more than two to three years. However, this varies from company to company. 

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