Seriously, yellow journalism is alive and well in the 21st century, and with so many writers competing for attention, some readers are bound to get caught up in a web of headlines that do not require you to read on. But, read on anyway…
Just this week I came across a Business Insider article about the iPhone. BI even told me how long it would take to read the whole shebang. I should have saved the nine minutes. Here’s the headline:
Can iPhones get viruses? Here’s what you need to know
You’ll run into more malware by reading such drivel, but allow me to dissect that one. First, can iPhones get viruses? Answer? No. Second, regarding here’s what you need to know, well, I already told you. No. See how quickly you can save nine minutes of your life for something more productive?
The everyday risk of viruses on the iPhone is virtually zero, thanks to its “walled-garden” approach to software and services running on the iOS platform.
OK, nothing new, right? Move along. Nothing to see here. But eight minutes later you won’t know any more than when you started.
Is there some kind of secret to iOS and iPhones that prevent such malware from showing up to ruin your day?
There are simple precautions you can take to protect yourself that include keeping your iPhone software up to date and using strong passwords.
Whatever you’re doing now probably is all you need to do.
Got a good password? Check. You’re halfway there. Get Apple’s iOS upgrades when they come out? Check. You’re done. The only other consideration is good online etiquette– as in, don’t browse to websites fully of crapola, use an ad blocker, don’t had over your Facebook or Google password to websites, and stop signing up for freebies which turn out not to be free.
Security experts warn about the risk of malware on PCs and Macs, and most people run some kind of antivirus software on their desktop or laptop for protection.
No, most people do not. Well, maybe Windows PC users. But Mac users? We compute with abandon.
So, what about the risk of using an iPhone or iPad online? Is there danger of viruses and malware?
In short, no. For the vast majority of everyday users, there’s virtually no risk of viruses on the iPhone.
Why not? Two words: walled garden.
The so-called walled garden, another term for Apple’s approach to requiring third-party apps and services to be specifically approved and vetted through the App Store, effectively prevents malware from taking control of the entire phone.
Another factor that works in Apple’s favor is the company’s ability to get iPhone and iPad users to upgrade to the latest versions. Already, about 80-percent of all iOS users have the latest; iOS 12.x. That’s not the way in Androidland.
What about the future? Steve Grobman works at antivirus company McAfee:
Malware is just one of many security concerns for mobile devices. iOS had a significant Bluetooth vulnerability in 2018, and we recently saw security problem with FaceTime. Cybercriminals have even set up rogue Wi-fi networks in public places. Viruses are just one way in.
We’re still talking about iPhone, right? Did you get caught by the Bluetooth vulnerability? Or the Group FaceTime bug? Nobody else did, either. Remember, a vulnerability does not an exploit make. Likewise, every iPhone user does not take advantage of every bug.
Wherever you see a headline regarding iPhone or Mac or iPad, and privacy and security and almost anything else regarding Apple, and the headline ends in a question mark?
The answer usually is “no.”