Why Rooted Android Smartphones are Actually More Secure!

Today I am going to talk about why rooted Android smartphones are actually more secure, there is a misconception going around where people think a rooted phone is less secure.  Well, as a person who has rooted almost every phone he has owned, and I have personally bought about a hundred Android smartphones since 2011, I have NEVER been hacked with a rooted smartphone.

First, having a rooted Android smartphone means you have 100% complete admin access to your phone.  In fact, usually with a rooted phone, you can’t even receive OTA(Over-The-Air) updates, meaning the user must manually update their software.  Now, there are few instances where automatic OTA updates can become vulnerable such as when an update includes a security flaw or vulnerability.  Of course, OTA updates can also fix a security flaw but having rooted phone means even manufacturers cannot update your phone automatically since you have full admin control.  And sometimes this could come in handy as the user can wait until OTA updates have proven to be fully secure then update.  Also, major OTA updates(such as transition from Nougat to Oreo) can slow down your phone, which is a problem plaguing Android manufacturers.

Second, most of my rooted Android smartphone do not even run stock firmware or the original software/operating system that is installed by the manufacturer such as LG, Huawei, or Samsung.   I actually have custom software called custom ROMs such as LineageOS, Resurrection Remix, or a customized operating system that can be entirely different from the original software.  Why is this important?  Because if you think like a hacker and you know how hackers hack, and I know this since I am sort of a white-hat hacker who knows how hackers work, hackers will usually target a large user base that will hack hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people.  This means, hackers are always looking for security flaws in OEM software or original software on your smartphone such as TouchWiz Android 8.1 Oreo stock firmware running on a Galaxy Note 8.   Once hackers do figure out a security flaw, they don’t just attack one person, they will automate the process and basically hack as many people as they can.

We have seen proof of this when iPhones had a security flaw where you could send a special Indian character via text message and it would shut the target user’s phone off.  While this wasn’t a big security breach that could affect your important stuff like passwords or logins but it is a good example of how hackers target a large user base.  Now, if iPhones were rootable and you could install custom ROMs like Android, ONLY people with OEM software would be affected while people with custom ROM would not be as the inner software is different.

Third, custom ROMs are 100% open source which means many open-source developers can review the code on sites like GitHub and if there is a security flaw, it is exposed immediately to the community and patches can be applied immediately.  In cases like Samsung TouchWiz, a lot of the code can be closed, meaning they lack the support of these open-source developers to review their code.  Hence, having OEM software can mean more security vulnerabilities and if you are not rooted, you may be affected if hackers figure out a security flaw.

So, the next time you see someone talking about how less secure rooted Android smartphones are, think again and educate them with some HighOnAndroid knowledge!

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Max Lee

Max Lee is the founder of HighOnAndroid.com. Max makes Android tutorials and review videos for people who want to get high on Android over at his YouTube channel and Korean YouTube channel.