Google just gave Pixel owners 50 reasons to update their smartphone — don’t sleep on these patches

Google Pixel 8 shown held in hand
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you own a Pixel smartphone, you’re going to want to install the latest updates as soon as possible because Google has just fixed 50 security flaws—including one that’s being used by hackers in their attacks as a zero-day.

As reported by BleepingComputer, the search giant released these fixes as part of its June Pixel updates. Of the 50 vulnerabilities patched, seven are rated critical and 24 have a high severity rating. 

The most concerning flaw (tracked as CVE-2024-32896) is an elevation of privilege (EoP) vulnerability in the Pixel firmware. In this month’s Pixel Update Bulletin post, Google revealed that there are indications that this particular vulnerability “may be under limited, targeted exploitation.”

Unfortunately though, we probably won’t learn how this flaw has been weaponized by hackers until after enough Pixel owners have had a chance to update their devices. Even then, Google, Apple and other phone makers rarely provide details on zero-days as they don’t want to make things easier for hackers.

One of the things that makes Google’s Pixel devices among the best Android phones is that in addition to the regular updates that other phones receive, they also get separate security and bug fixes due to their exclusive features, like Guided Frame, Audio Magic Editor and Best Take.

How to keep your Pixel phone safe from hackers

A hand holding a phone securely logging in

(Image credit: Google)

Just like with your other devices, the easiest and best way to keep your Pixel phone safe from hackers is to keep it regularly updated by installing new software and patches as soon as they become available.

To update your Pixel phone, head to Settings then Security & privacy and tap on System & updates. Here, you’ll want to scroll down to Security update and tap Install. Once you restart your phone, the latest updates will be applied.

Besides installing the latest patches, you also want to make sure that Google Play Protect is enabled on your Pixel phone. This free and pre-installed antivirus app from Google scans all of your existing apps and any new ones you download for malware. For additional protection though, you might also want to consider running one of the best Android antivirus apps alongside it as many of them come with useful security extras like a VPN.

50 security flaws may sound like a lot, but by finding and patching them Google is ensuring that both you and your Pixel phone are safe from hackers.

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Anthony Spadafora
Senior Editor Security and Networking

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.