Apple touts privacy and security for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Not too loudly, though; why be a big target? Major operating systems may be more secure than in decades past, but complete and utter security if a fallacy. Much like online privacy.
How secure is your iPhone?
Relative to the competition– which consists mostly of Android-based smartphones– an iPhone’s security is high but not perfect. Add an alphanumeric password and iPhone stays locked down except for the most persistent of hackers from Israeli security company Cellebrite, which claims to be able to unlock any iOS 11 device.
Earlier this week I came across an interesting graphic from SecurityLab which compares a variety of smartphones; from iOS to Android and a couple of others. As expected, iPhone’s iOS is on top, closely followed by Windows Phone, with Android devices on the bottom of the security stack.
The report displays security updates for each device, and lists many of the most popular Android-based smartphones separately (click or tap on the image for a larger view of the graphic).
What does that tell you?
iPhones receive iOS updates and security updates far more frequently than any smartphone, and that alone improves security. Apple provides various levels of encryption to iOS, and that helps to improve security (except, perhaps, for the aforementioned Israeli company that claims to be able to hack into any iOS device– today).
The short story is this. iPhone is as secure as you can get when comparing major smartphone brands, but the device is not impenetrable. If your iPhone has some potentially incriminating information stored on it, and authorities are willing to pay Cellebrite’s price tag, it can be opened.
There is something of a cat and mouse game going on within the industry; manufacturers and customers vs. hackers and authorities.
If your iPhone is not holding onto incriminating evidence, it’s likely you don’t have a problem if you have a good password, and utilize Face ID or Touch ID. At the extreme, though, authorities and hackers may have access to your device, but that does not mean access to every file where you keep personal information, or, in the alternative, incriminating information. Both can have additional layers of encryption, therefore, more security.
How secure is your iPhone? Very.
Is iPhone completely secure? No. God knows what you have on your iPhone. Hackers and authorities can find it, too. If they pay the price.