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iOS security risks: After the XcodeGhost exploit is Apple's iOS really safer than Android? Plus: What security apps do you need for iPad & iPhone

Karen Haslam | Sept. 24, 2015
In this article we look at some of the security threats that have hit Apple's iOS devices, including XcodeGhost, WireLurker, Masque Attack, the Olag Pliss ransom case and the SSL flaw.

But for the home user, the iPad (and iPhone) is one of the safest computing experiences you can imagine. It's combination of locked down hardware and software make it more secure out of the box than a Mac or PC with security software installed.

What security do I need for iPad and iPhone Safari web browsing?

The Safari web browser in iOS 7 is also protected against malicious software, although you can encounter malicious websites and you are vulnerable to so-called "Phishing" scams (where nefarious people send you emails requesting you to enter account and password details.

Safari iOS 7 has a "Fraud Warning" service built into it. This is activated by default, but it doesn't hurt to go to Settings > Safari and double-check that Fraudulant Website Warning is set to On.

Obvioulsy we now know that it is important to update your device to ensure that your safe from man-in-the-middle attacks made possible by the SSL encryption coding error, as discussed at the top of this article. As long as you are running iOS 7.0.6 or iOS 6.1.6 you should be ok.

Is Javascript safe on the iPad and iPhone?

JavaScript is another area where you might want to be extra cautious. While JavaScript offers a number of additional features to websites, there are some concerns that it can be used to launch malicious attacks. It depends on the kind of website you typically browse on an iPad or iPhone. If you look at some of the less salubrious sites you might want to go to Settings > Safari and turn JavaScript to Off.

Are there any iPad/iPhone security risks at all?

The biggest risks with an iPad and iPhone aren't remote attacks, but up close and personal theft. Somebody either stealing your device or using it when your back is turned.

To protect somebody from accessing your iPad or iPhone without your knowledge be sure to set either a passcode or password.

1. Open Settings > General and tap Passcode Lock
2. Click Turn Passcode On
3. Enter a four digit PIN
4. Re-enter the four digit PIN
5. Tap "Require Passcode" and ensure it is set to "Immediately"
6. Tap Passcode Lock to get back to the Passcode Lock settings

You can use a password instead of a passcode. This will ensure a higher level of security, but you will need to enter the combination of letters and numbers to unlock your iPad or iPhone, so most people stick with the passcode.

1. Tap Simple Passcode to Off
2. Enter a password (a combination of numbers and letters)

Enable Find My iPad/iPhone

Find My iPhone is an app and service that you can install to locate an iOS if it has gone missing. It also enables you to remotely wipe an iPhone or iPad, or send a message to it in the hope of retrieving a lost iPhone or iPad.

 

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