No OS is safe as security scares come to Mac, iOS

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You might think that Windows is where all the security problems are, but the Apple side of things is also getting a security woe or two, as Symantec chimes in with some interesting information.

Back during the age of Windows Vista, Microsoft saw a lot of people leave its Windows operating system to take refuge over at Mac where the operating system actually felt like it wasn’t trying to waste your time.

We’re well and truly past that horrible time in Microsoft’s operating system development life, and Windows is still out in front of Apple in terms of how many users it has, as well as how many security problems it is affected by, which was another reason why people have left Windows.

That said, Macs aren’t totally invulnerable to the danger of security problems, and Symantec has picked up on this lately, finding that threats to both Apple’s desktop and laptop operating system Mac OS X as well as the mobile side of things on iOS are on the increase.

In fact, Symantec’s research found that the threats for Mac OS had beeb increasing every year, and though 2015 didn’t quite yield as much of an increase as previous year, Symantec did find that the number of infected Macs was higher in the first nine months of 2015 than it was for all of 2014.

Many of these attacks are coming from adware and browser-introduced malware, and these are things security software can help with, though common sense and safe web usage is also necessary, doing what you can to make sure you’re not purposely infecting yourself and compromising your computer.

But on the iOS side of things, that’s an area where things get a bit difficult, and with Symantec tracking exploits for Apple’s mobile operating system, even the advanced users of an Apple iPhone or iPad may end up being susceptible.

“There is no full-proof platform unfortunately,” said Nick Savvides, Security Expert at Symantec.

“Though the number of total iOS threats remains minimal, the number of threats discovered has been increasing in the past few years. The criminals continue to use their wits to come up with unthinkable ways to perform their malicious deeds.”

Symantec has thus far tracked 13 iOS threats, and nine of these are from jailbroken products, with these attacks basically a warning to anyone thinking of taking this approach, because even if you’re a tech expert, you can still get infected.

However, the remaining four can get in without jailbreaking, spread either using Apple’s developer program or using a USB cable, which Symantec says both can be used to inject code exploits in iPhones still locked down and protected by Apple’s safeguards.

According to Symantec, the hacks employed in this manner are usually for the displaying of ads and making money for the exploit maker, but they can also be setup to steal contact details and even spy on the user.

So how can an iPhone owner keep their smartphone safe and secure?

Symantec’s expert advices that users “download from trusted sources only.”

“For iOS apps, this would be the App Store,” said Savvides to GadgetGuy. “If a user decides to install an app outside of the App Store, the user should make sure this app is something that the user is familiar with,” he said, suggesting it only when distributed by an employer.

But for all your other applications, make sure you get them from the Apple Store and no other place, because while your iPhone might look like it can get an app from any website, only the ones approved by Apple and its team of experts is the one you should be installing apps from.