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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.

The three steps for better security are as follows:

1) Choose a secure password. As we explain in this feature about how to chose a strong password, a good password will contain upper and lowercase letters, punctuation, a number and be 8-14 characters long.

2) Use a unique password for every service you access. Most people use the same password for every online service they use which is a danger because once that one password is discovered then all your accounts are vulnerable.

3) Luckily if you have trouble remembering too many password there are services that will generate passwords for you and enter them on your behalf when you need them. You only need to remember one password with a password generator such as 1Password.

4) You can also use Apple's iCloud Keychain to suggest secure passwords - but make sure you use a password to access your Mac and a passcode for your iPad and iPhone. 

5) Avoid opening and don't respond to phishing emails (even if you think it's funny). And definitely don't click on any links or download any documents that are attached. Note that many phishing emails will appear to have come from friends whose email accounts have been hacked. 

6) If you take a photo and don't want it to stay in iCloud delete it from your Photo Stream. In the Photos app, go to My Photo Stream select the image and delete. This will remove the photo from any devices connected to your photo stream.

7) Make sure that you use two-factor authentication whenever it is offered. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security besides your username and password. This second layer of authentication involves receiving a security code on your iPhone or other device, which you have to enter in order to access your account. This means that even if someone managed to get hold of your password, if they don't have access to your phone to get that second security code, they can't log in to your account. 

8) Make sure that you have good answers to your security questions - not answers anyone could easily guess. And make sure you remember what those answers are!

Update your devices

Make sure you always update your devices to the latest version of the operating system, Apple endeavours to fix flaws as soon as possible.

Updating the software isn't always as simple as it should be. In the past some people have found that they were unable to install the update that would protect their iPhone. For example, the iOS 7.0.6 update caused some iPhones or iPads to be bricked. Actually calling these devices bricked isn't necessarily correct, it appears that the firmware update has been interrupted.


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