Every year, iDevices surpass tech-development challenges, security flags, operating system instabilities, and more. The ‘Digital Divide,’ virtually, doesn’t exist in 2020: Approximately 96 per cent of Americans carry cellphones – and 81 per cent of these devices are smartphones.
Between eReader apps, smartwatches, and cloud-based styluses, it’s easy to forget how The Internet of Things got its name. Our tech-powered world isn’t as dangerous as it once was, as its greatest innovators continuously conceive, create and roll out digital security marvels. Still, smartphone security remains a hot topic among industry professionals and mobile carriers alike – which naturally raises the question: How secure is your iPhone?
Staying safe while connected
More often than not, today’s cybersecurity utilities are more than leveraging the inherent risks of data sharing, storage, and application. A decade ago, info-parsing pirates were constant threats. Today’s encryption standards are incredibly effective safeguards and develop firmware updates – even more so.
With an iPhone 12 unveiling right around the corner, industry insiders will yet again discuss the biggest digital threats to today’s iDevice carriers. Despite being the most popular smartphone, the iPhone’s garnered concerns aren’t unfounded.
Our Apple Pay wallets might be encrypted, and our lock screens might be sealed with fingerprint identification, but is our digital information completely safe? To boil the industry insider concerns down into another question:
Just how secure are iPhones, anyway?
It’s all about software restrictions
What makes iOS devices so secure is the way Apple interconnects its software and hardware. They’re so integrated, in fact, that attempting to strip an iDevice of its passcode can ‘brick’ it – rendering it not only immobilized but completely nonfunctional.
For a device’s owner, however, there’s still a lot of room to explore the inner workings of iOS. In doing so, plenty of unaffiliated tech-lovers and app developers have even enhanced their device’s security. While controversial, the practice of jailbreaking iDevices is nonetheless popular.
In the past, this was primarily done to elevate the device holder’s ‘digital clearance,’ so to speak. By transferring certain instructions to an iPhone, a person can essentially gain direct access to the framework hidden beneath the otherwise impenetrable iOS.
Widgets and web security
Today, most iPhone owners who jailbreak their devices simply want more customization options. More tech-savvy users, meanwhile, develop custom widgets, apps and mod toolkits to make their devices more secure.
While quite a few tech enthusiasts have created mind-boggling inventions, however, most eventually hit a development wall: At the end of the day, Apple products really do surpass a majority of alternative tools in terms of quality. They might be minimalistic in design, but they’re incredibly secure.
But even secure digital platforms are susceptible to sneak attacks. Mobile hackers are out there—and they’re more prevalent than one might think. Even though iPhones benefit from their protective designs, other mobile devices aren’t as lucky. Studies suggest that about 97 per cent of mobile malware, virus and app-based hacks target Android devices. This is mostly due to their higher degree of software integration—a quality which makes Android devices popular, to begin with.
Are iPhones safer than Androids?
On a technical level, iOS devices are more secure than Android devices. ChromeOS devices are also incredibly safe—as Google’s approach to mobile software design is rather similar to Apple’s.
iOS and ChromeOS devices are programmed with a technique called “sandboxing.” Every app, settings portal, digital store and even web browser, when provided through Apple or Google, exists in its own separate, walled-off space. Much like a sandbox, these separate rooms still have plenty of room to be creative.
These apps can communicate with other apps on a device—and they can even access them, to a degree—but they’re blocked beyond a certain threshold. Their code can’t merge with neighbouring code—despite seeming incredibly seamless. So, as one might expect, each Apple and Chrome app’s ‘sandbox’ acts like a safe:
If a cyberattack succeeds in breaching your iPhone, it probably won’t get very far. Malicious code, in most cases, would get stuck in the safe itself.
The real threat: Unsecured networks
On a physical level, iPhone security measures win out. On a software integrity level—they’re often said to be the safest. Even still, iPhone, iPad and MacBook owners face an incredibly dangerous reality: They have amazing connectivity. So, looking at the bigger picture, how secure is your iPhone on a day-to-day basis?
Even if your iPhone’s software is well-protected from malware, scripts and file crawlers, your information becomes vulnerable the second it leaves the sandbox. Data thieves target public Wi-Fi hubs for this reason, as open Internet connections are easily browsed for outbound device information: data which isn’t protected behind the walls of an Apple device.
For iPhones, encryption is protection
About 400 iPhones are sold every minute—compounding the security risks presented by unsecured user accounts and lacking tech knowledge alike. Fortunately, there are smartphone security providers who can provide even better protection than Apple itself: VPN developers.
Some of today’s most trusted online security providers, now, can be found in the app store. Mobile VPN apps are just as secure as their desktop counterparts. Some have even become more optimized due to their compact design—allowing for quick-connect options with encryption presets.
VPN coverage, wherever you go
You’ll find that the best VPN providers, like Surfshark, NordVPN, and Tunnelbear, have created incredibly intuitive designs. A mobile VPN for your iPhone is a necessity—and it’s never been this compact. In just a couple of screen taps, your device’s Internet-bound information is fully encrypted and anonymous.
Once connected, your VPN utilizes industry-leading methods and modern cyphers to protect all traffic your iPhone encounters. Those protected beneath it needn’t worry about trackers, ads, phishing attempts, or malware. Even better: Your mobile VPN can be connected across every device – synchronizing your protection beneath a single account.
If you’re an iPhone owner yourself – just know that supreme security doesn’t end with the hardware.