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If your iPhone is more than five years old, it's no longer getting security updates. However, even older iPhones are less likely to be attacked than Android phones for three reasons, according to Symantec Corp. First, Apple doesn't release its source code to app developers. Second, owners of iPhones can't modify the code on their phones. Third, there are more Android phones out there to hack: 52% of cellphones are Android phones, 47% are iPhones.

If your Android phone is over three years old, it won't get security patches, according to To be safe, get the free app from By the way, People like Warren Buffett who use old-style flip phones instead of smartphones rarely get malware. Bob has been using the same flip phone for 12 years.


A reader writes: "I am a 70-plus senior with not much tech experience, needing a new phone. I don't want a bunch of bells and whistles. I want email, Facebook, text, pictures and a few other apps. Any suggestions for an old gal who's on a fixed income?"

We wondered why she is no longer happy with her Android smartphone, a Pantech Flex P8010. She said: "It won't hold a charge, for one thing. I bought a new battery but I seriously don't think it's new. AT&T won't even work on my phone anymore. They tell me I have to call support for help. It's slow too. I was thinking a newer phone might support me for the rest of my years. Or at least, the years I'm still thinking clearly."

If she doesn't need to stick with AT&T, there are a lot of other choices out there. T-Mobile has plans that start at $3 a month. Mint Mobile offers unlimited talk and text for $15 a month with 3 gigabytes of data. That's huge. Though users say Mint doesn't offer much tech support, you can buy a Mint Mobile starter kit on Amazon for $5 to try it out. Some readers swear by Tracfone, known for inexpensive plans, but we haven't had a good experience with their tech support. Joy likes the Google Fi service and the Google Pixel phone because Google phones are first to get Android updates and their tech support is great. Google Fi now offers unlimited talk, text and data, plus calls to more than 50 countries for $45 a month per user, but since we don't need all that, we pay about $30 a month.

Senior citizens may prefer the Jitterbug Smart 2. The phone is $112.50, and the monthly GreatCall Link service charge ranges between $30 and $60. You can add extra services, like a trained nurse on standby to diagnose a problem over the phone and an old-fashioned operator ready to help you add contacts, navigate driving routes and do other tasks. GreatCall Link will replace the phone for free if it stops working.

We have a Jitterbug flip phone we got about 12 years ago, and it still works great. Our service includes the old-fashioned operator. Once when we were lost in the rain trying to return our rental car without missing our flight, an operator steered us to the right place in San Diego. (Yes, it sometimes rains in San Diego.) The clarity of the calls is excellent and the battery lasts for weeks.


Should you create a new account with a new password when you join a new website? If the website gives you the option to sign in with Facebook or Google, take it.

Using your Facebook or Google password to sign in to some other site is safer than creating a new password. Most websites don't have the high level of security that Facebook and Google do. Other sites are much more easily hacked, and your password could be copied.

Still, there are some reasons to be concerned about using your Facebook or Google password on a variety of sites. You might not like the idea of those companies seeing your contact list. If so, see the How-To Geek article titled "Secure Your Online Accounts By Removing Third-Party App Access." It explains, for example, that if you've used Google to sign in to several sites, go to When we went there we learned that Amazon has access to our Gmail, Google contacts and Google Calendar. We don't mind, but it's good to know.


"Top 10 Tips to Keep Your Brain Young," is a great lecture on YouTube by Elizabeth Amini, co-founder and chief executive officer of Anti-Aging Games. Her top tip is to exercise every day. Others include maintaining social contacts, playing games and learning new skills.

"The Books Every New Graduate Should Read, According To a Dozen Business Leaders." Search on that phrase to find an interesting list. One is a 1951 science fiction novel, The Weapon Shops of Isher, by A.E. van Vogt.


If you have deeply private photos, you might want the free app Photo Vault, for Android or iPhone from

Photo Vault prompts you to create a master password to keep your photos away from prying eyes. It uses a private Web browser, not Firefox, Chrome, Safari or one of the others, so you leave no tracks when you view photos. The free app also lets you sort photos, view a slide show, or search for specific pictures. It's been downloaded millions of times.

Bob and Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at and

Business on 09/28/2019

Print Headline: Updates for older phones run out, but security is available


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