I know that this post will be quite disconcerting, but for anyone with an Android phone, we should be shaken enough to take action. The attached article from PC Magazine gives an overview of what we know about “Stagefright”. In layman’s terms (or laywoman’s terms 🙂 ), this is a major vulnerability in the Android operating system that could allow a hacker to take complete control over your phone, your data, your camera, your contacts, your microphone…all this with no visual sign that your phone has been compromised. Now, there is a temporary action that you can take if and until your phone is upgraded to Lollipop V5.1.1. And that would be to change your default messaging application to Google Hangouts.
On many phones, it is a simple as:
1) Going to Settings.
2) Click on Wireless and Network settings.
3) Click on More (some phones may say More Networks).
4) Click on Default messaging app.
5) Select the radio button next to Google Hangouts.
Now is this a complete solution? No, not entirely. Google Hangouts does give you the option of pre-screening, or deleting messages without it automatically launching content on your phone. And never click on messages from folks you do not know, or never click on messages from folks you do know, that look strange. Go retro- and call the person first before you click! They will appreciate it, and so will you! 🙂
And now the not so great news- if you have an older model Android phone, your carrier or the manufacturer may not release Lollipop V5.1.1 to your phone…ever. Might be time to shop for a new phone for some folks, unfortunately.
One other note, if you don’t have it, GET anti-virus and anti-malware protection for your phone. Just like you other computing devices, viruses can infect your Android phone!
And as always, give us a call if you need help!