All iPhone Users Warned to Update Device Now Amid 3 Major Security Threats
Don't wait for your phone to update automatically, experts warn.
Apple makes it pretty simple to update your devices via the automatic updates feature. Once you have the option on, your iPhone installs new software on its own—typically during the night while you're sleeping—as long as it's connected to WiFi and charging. But in light of three new security threats, iPhone users are urged to take initiative and update their devices immediately. Read on to find out why you shouldn't want for your device to update itself.
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Several different Apple iPhone and iPad models are impacted.
According to Forbes, both iPhone and iPad users must update their devices to the latest software, iOS 16.5. Three major security threats are addressed in the update, all of which are "zero-day" threats. According to McAfee, a "zero-day" is an attack that the occurs before or on the same day that the manufacturer is made aware of the vulnerability—meaning they had "zero days" to address it.
By Forbes' estimates, over 1 billion iPhone and iPad users could be impacted—and Apple confirmed it received reports that each threat "may have been actively exploited."
The three zero-days affect all iPhone users with an iPhone 8 or later model. The threats also impact all iPad Pro models; iPad Air models from the 3rd generation on; iPad models from the 5th generation on; and iPad Mini from the 5th generation on, per Apple.
If you're unsure which iPhone or iPad model you have, go to Settings, then General, then About, where you'll find your model name and number listed.
Your personal information could be in jeopardy.
Forbes reported that the zero-days are just three of 39 vulnerabilities addressed in the update—and according to Sean Wright, principal application security engineer at Featurespace, this "mixed bag of vulnerabilities" could have "quite severe impacts if an attacker were able to successfully exploit them."
Wright added that when some of these vulnerabilities are "chained together," a bad actor could gain full remote control of your device.
However, he's the most concerned about the zero-days, which are related to WebKit, the browser used to power the Safari search engine. According to Apple, the vulnerabilities can put your sensitive information at risk or introduce malicious web content.
As the WebKit vulnerabilities are already "being exploited in the wild," Wright told Forbes they're "the ones that I would be concerned about."
Don't panic—just update your device.
Wright recommends that you update your device when you can, but also stressed that the average user might not be in as much danger.
"There's no reason to panic about these vulnerabilities either," he said. "They will likely be targeted vulnerabilities, targeting high profile users such as media, politicians, etc."
You can easily update your advice by going to Settings, General, then clicking Software Update.
The update has some positive new features, too.
In addition to keeping your device and information protected, iOS 16.5 also offers some unique new features.
Sports fans will enjoy the update, as there's a Sports coverage tab in the Apple News app, allowing you to get the latest updates even quicker. Apple also rolled out game pages, where you can find details about specific sporting events.
In honor of Pride Month, which occurs every June, Apple is offering a new Pride Celebration wallpaper, which you can use as your lock screen "to honor the LGBTQ+ community and culture."
The update also addresses issues where Podcasts may not load through Apple CarPlay, issues with the Spotlight search feature, and complications where Screen Time settings reset or fail to sync across your Apple devices.