Apple is known to create products with superior build quality but is an Apple device immune to cyber-attacks? This article looks into this subject so that you know what to expect if you own one of these devices. These days security and privacy are very important given that a lot of personal information is saved on the internet. Hackers try by all means to access your traffic or ‘take over’ your device.
List of Apple devices
These are the Apple devices you use to connect to the internet, and there is a risk of cyber-attacks when online:
- iPod Touch
Apple’s closed ecosystem
Apple controls all the hardware and software in its devices. As a result, high standards are easy to maintain especially on the software side. This is because products e.g. apps from third parties have to meet certain minimum standards before being admitted into the App Store. Integration of all Apple’s devices is also seamless.
According to their website, all devices have encryption features to protect user’s data. This encryption is robust and you can wipe your device remotely should it get stolen.
How does your Apple device get cyber-attacks?
In most cases, if you stick to default features and normal usage you are safe from most online attacks on an Apple device. However, trouble starts when you do one of the following:
- Opening dubious messages or email attachments that may contain malware
- Downloading and installing third-party apps outside the App Store. You need to verify that the app is safe before installing it
- Jail-breaking your device which may expose it to cyber-attacks and compromises its security online
- Installing ‘cleaning apps’ that do nothing but lead you to Adware. You end up wasting your internet data visiting sites that generate money for the advertiser.
- Using public chargers. In 2012 a team of researchers created a software to hack into an iPhone via the charging port.
- Browse safely and avoid malicious sites
- Using public WiFi networks often
- Not updating your device to the latest software on time
In January 2020, a group of ethical hackers from Google’s Project Zero hacked into an iPhone using only the Apple ID. They forwarded the findings to Apple and the vulnerability was fixed. However, this shows that although incidences of hacking are far lower than in Android devices, there is still need to be cautious.
Privacy and security on the web
If there was an Apple device immune to cyber-attacks it will be the ultimate gadget. However, one way to become virtually non-penetrable is to use a VPN and this is gaining popularity. With a VPN, you are literally in your own space as everything is encrypted. There is a significantly low risk of any man-in-the-middle attack.
Coupled with robust security features of Apple devices, you are virtually unidentifiable. Your IP address is changed hence any attempts to attack you don’t stick.
VPN services like NordVPN have taken it a step further by integrating more security features in the VPN. Apart from encrypting your data, NordVPN also offers:
- Onion over browser
- NordPass, and that is a highly secure password manager
Other features of VPN services
A good VPN service should also have a good reputation. Take time to visit their sites and see if there are security audits that are done periodically. When choosing a VPN, stay away from most free VPNs. More than 80% of free VPNs have a poor user experience, stemming from Adware, poor speeds, bandwidth limits, obsolete encryption protocols to name a few.
If you suspect that your device has been hacked, immediately cut off any internet connection. That may involve turning the airplane mode on which cuts off further access to your phone by a hacker.
Make it a habit to back up content on your device because if any problems persist, you have to reset your device. This removes any malware if it is present and you are good to go. Now you know there is no Apple device immune to cyber-attacks. Use a VPN every time you are online. To assist you choose the best one for your device, use this VPN wizard.
Remember, next time someone asks “Is an Apple device immune to cyber-attacks”, now you know. There are no sacred cows.