If You Have an iPhone or iPad, You Need to Do This Immediately

Apple warns that their devices could be “actively exploited” by hackers right now.

There's a good chance you use phones or tablets every day to send texts and emails, make important purchases, listen to music, and browse social media. But if you own an iPhone or iPad, you should make sure to do at least one more thing right away: Download the latest software update due to a potential security threat. Read on for more on how your devices are in danger, and for more on taking care of your gadgets, check out If You're Charging Your iPhone Like This, Apple Says Stop Immediately.

Apple just announced an immediate update for many of its devices.

Woman on both ipad and phone
Shutterstock/TippaPatt

Apple has announced an important software update for many of its devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The latest download includes a security fix for a major vulnerability that the company says has already been "actively exploited" by hackers, TechCrunch reports.

The latest update will appear as iOS 14.4.2 for iPhones, iPadOS 14.4.2 for iPads, and watchOS 7.3.3 for anyone with a Series 3 Apple Watch or later. Those with older devices, including an iPhone 6 or earlier, will see an update listed as iOS 12.5.2.

Your personal information could be left exposed by the security flaw.

man sitting in kitchen playing on ipad in front of a glass of orange juice
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While the tech company has kept details intentionally vague so as not to alert more potential hackers to the vulnerability, the current patch tackles an issue with cross-site scripting through Safari or other third-party browsers you may be using to browse the web on your phone or tablet.

"It could impact any site you visit, and potentially many apps as well," Sean Wright, SME application security lead at Immersive Labs, told Forbes. He explained that potential attacks could even leave your personal information or browsing activity exposed. And for more important information on your devices, check out Apple Just Released This Warning About the Latest iPhones.

You can check your phone's settings to see if it missed the important update.

apple warning with latest iPhones
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While there's a chance your phone may be automatically scanning for the latest software updates, you can still check to see if your device is up-to-date and download the super important patches in just seconds. All you need to do is visit the Settings icon on your phone, then click General and tap Software Update. From there, follow the directions to download and install the newest iOS, Mashable reports.

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Apple has recently issued other major security updates.

A young woman looks at her smartphone with a concerned look on her face.
iStock

If rushing to patch up your device's security feels oddly familiar, it's because this is the third time this year Apple has released a security-only update to its devices, TechCrunch reports. This includes the previous software rollout to iOS 14.4.1 just weeks ago that patched a similar vulnerability across many of its products. And for other potential device danger, check out If You're Using This to Charge Your Phone, Officials Say Stop Now.

Zachary Mack
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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