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If you have an older Android phone, you may not be able to visit secure websites in 2021

Now might be a good time to finally update that old Android phone of yours.

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Image: Google

If you’re currently rocking an older Android device, it might be time for an upgrade, as most websites will no longer work on devices with Android versions before 7.1.1 Nougat, reports Android Police.

So what’s going on? It’s pretty technical, but the gist of it is that websites that offer HTTPS encryption will not work with older Android versions.

For a more technical explanation, the certification non-profit organization Let’s Encrypt recently said that its partnership with certification authority IdenTrust will end on Sept. 1, 2021. And with its partnership ending, Let’s Encrypt will be switching over to its own root certificate, ending IdenTrust’s partnership on January 11.

This new change will affect a lot of Android users. Let’s Encrypt says that 33.8 percent of Android devices are running these older versions of Android. And once the change happens, anyone visiting an HTTPS site will run into certificate errors when visiting these secure sites in 2021.

Obviously, upgrading your device to something newer is the way to go here if you want to avoid these errors. If that’s not an option, Let’s Encrypt says an alternative workaround is downloading Firefox and using that as your primary browser.

“For an Android phone’s built-in browser, the list of trusted root certificates comes from the operating system – which is out of date on these older phones,” explains a post on Let’s Encrypt’s website. “However, Firefox is currently unique among browsers – it ships with its own list of trusted root certificates. So anyone who installs the latest Firefox version gets the benefit of an up-to-date list of trusted certificate authorities, even if their operating system is out of date.”

So yea, upgrading your Android device may be the way to go here. After all, it’s 2020, and you deserve nothing but the best. But if you’re someone who rarely browses the internet on their older Android device, then you might be able to hold off a bit longer.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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