Android 12 quietly gets a useful security feature, but there’s a big caveat | #android | #security

What you need to know

  • Google has quietly rolled out a setting in Android 12 that allows you to disable 2G on newer smartphones.
  • The feature improves security because 2G lacks strong encryption, which attackers can use to intercept communications.
  • However, many Android phones may not support the kill switch.

While the best 5G networks in the U.S. including T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless continue to expand their coverage across the country, most smartphones still allow for interoperability with 4G/3G/2G networks. There are instances when your device tries to connect to available 2G networks, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes this poses a security risk.

Fortunately, Google added the ability to disable 2G modems on Android phones, though this may have gone unnoticed by everyone. The 2G kill switch, according to the EFF, is a useful feature that should protect devices from “invasive police surveillance technology” known as cell site simulators.

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