If You Own Any Apple Devices, You Need to Do This Immediately
A security vulnerability could be putting you at risk.
Some software updates to your phone, tablet, and computer can bring exciting new features that can make it feel like a brand new device. Others get pushed through in the middle of the night and go completely unnoticed. But if you own any Apple devices, you should be sure to download the latest iOS update immediately because of security concerns, Forbes reports. Read on to see why your products need this patch right away, and for more important updates about your devices, check out If You're Using This to Charge Your Phone, Officials Say Stop Now.
The latest update—named iOS 14.4.1—comes as an important security patch for all devices running the operating system, including any iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Apple computer. The new software comes as researchers from Microsoft and Google discovered a major vulnerability in the iOS 14.4 update rated as "high" severity, LifeHacker reports.
The security concern focuses on what is known as a WebKit issue in which malicious code can be forced to run on a device simply by visiting a website. Attackers could lure unsuspecting victims with emails or text messages containing links to pages that could exploit the security flaw.
"This vulnerability allows an attacker to craft content that when processed on the device, would give them the ability to run their code on it," Daniel Card, a cybersecurity consultant, told Forbes. He suggested that it was important for Apple product owners to update to iOS 14.4.1 "in a timely manner."
Fortunately, the one update will patch the issue across all devices. To make sure you're running the latest iOS, you can visit the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, open the Watch app, or click on the Apple logo on your computer to initiate the update. Up-to-date iPhones and iPads will show that iOS 14.4.1 is currently running, while Apple Watch will be updated to 7.3.2, and computers with macOS Big Sur should run version 11.2.3, LifeHacker reports.
Unfortunately, the latest security exploit isn't the only way you can be placed in digital danger. For other ways your phone could become compromised, keep reading, and for more on other products that could be putting you at risk, check out If You Have This Popular App On Your Phone, Delete It Now.
Everyone's favorite voice assistant may be able to lend a hand when you can't use yours, but there is one risky feature you should be aware of. A Wired article from 2018 warned consumers to turn off Siri's access when their screen is locked. Unfortunately, if you can easily access Siri without a passcode, so can other people.
Just like shopping in the physical world, trusting where you get your products from can be important. According to Neil Roach, an IT expert with 20 years of experience and founder of Boxroom Office, many smartphone users will go out of their way to download unsecured apps, which are "downloaded from a website and not from the Google Play or Apple App stores." And while the apps themselves may not be malicious, they often come with "security vulnerabilities that don't become apparent until you find yourself the victim of identity theft."
Unrecognizable text messages
According to Antti Alatalo, a tech expert and founder of Smart Watches 4 U, smartphone users shouldn't open any text messages they don't recognize, especially if they store private information on their phone. These out-of-the-blue texts could actually be "malicious malware that automatically downloads when you click on the message."
You may appreciate being able to browse the web while sitting at your favorite local coffee shop. But according to Gabe Turner, a digital security expert and chief editor of Security.org, someone can easily hack your phone if you're connected to public WiFi. "If you're connected directly and not to a Virtual Private Network (VPN), then people can see your web activity and private IP address, which makes you more susceptible to hacking. And they can access your photos," he warns. And for more tech news you need to know, check out Apple Just Announced It's Discontinuing This Classic Product.