Apple has issued an emergency software update for its many devices, as the company announced that it has patched a zero-click malware vulnerability that is affecting all devices.
Online security has been a hot topic over the last few years. Between security breaches of big businesses and ransomware attacks on individuals, protecting yourself online has become vitally important. Apple understood that, which is why its marketing campaigns of late have been largely focused on the privacy capabilities of its devices.
Unfortunately, no one is completely safe from the hackers of the world, which is why Apple is urging users of its many devices to update them as soon as possible to close this vulnerability.
Apple Issues Emergency Update
On Monday, Apple became aware of a zero-click malware vulnerability that would allow invasive spyware to infect iPhones, Macbooks, Apple Watches, and the rest of the Apple lineup without a user clicking on anything.
The spyware, discovered by Citizen Lab, is from Israel’s NSO Group, which has orchestrated many large security breaches in the past, and is decidedly powerful. It can gain full control of your device by turning on your phone, reading your text messages, and relaying it to whoever installed it.
“This spyware can do everything an iPhone user can do on their device and more,” said John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab.
With 1.65 billion Apple devices floating around the world as we speak, this is a massive security breach with lasting implications. Once considered the gold standard for device security, Apple now must bolster its protocols even more to ensure this kind of vulnerability doesn't happen again.
How to Avoid This Spyware
Don't worry! While this Apple device vulnerability may sound scary, there is an easy to way to make sure that your device isn't in danger any more: just update your device. If you don't know how, here's a simple walkthrough to help you out:
- Settings –> General –> Check for Updates
Honestly, it's that simple. Whether you're using an iPhone, a Macbook, or an iPad, just navigate over to the settings menu, and there should be a clear choice to Check for Updates. You'll then be guided through the process to make sure it goes through.
Those who own an Apple Watch will have to complete the job through their accompanying iPhone, but the process should still only take a few quick steps.
How to Protect Yourself Online
If this announcement from Apple has woken you up to the importance of online security, we totally get it. Honestly, the online world is filled with threats to your personal data and privacy, which means that taking extra precautions is always a good idea, especially if you're a business worried about security breaches.
If you're interested in taking extra steps to ensure your online safety, there are a few tools we can recommend. Password managers are essential, as passwords are the first line of defense and few engage in best practices to protect them. And with 81% of security breaches stemming from poor password security, it's safe to say they seriously help.
Additionally, tools like VPNs, remote access software, and antivirus platforms can make a big impact on your online security. Businesses that are adjusting to the hybrid work boom can especially benefit, as the work-from-home model lends itself to some serious vulnerabilities.