Consumer Reports: Protecting your Apple devices from hackers

Consumer Reports

CONSUMER REPORTS — Recent attacks against Apple products are causing concern. Consumer Reports explains what you can do to keep your Apple devices safe.

“I’ve always thought Apple products were safer. That’s why I went with them to begin with,” said Mark Doherty, an Apple User

But tech experts say that ALL connected tech carries some level of risk. In fact, over the past year, Apple has rolled out a slew of software updates to fix flaws and even some critical vulnerabilities, including at least one that could have left Apple users susceptible to dangerous malware had the patch not been installed.

“Don’t ignore operating system and app updates. This is where known security flaws are fixed, but it’s up to you to install them,” said Bree Fowler, Consumer Reports Tech Editor. 

To make sure your iPhone or iPad is up to date, go to: Settings — General –Software Update. On a Mac computer, go to: Launchpad — System Preferences — Software Update.

And if your device isn’t getting OS updates because it’s too old, it’s time to replace It. CR says you should also beware of phishing attempts–It’s one of the more common ways hackers get the goods.

“Most of the time, cyber criminals can only get access to your device if you give them a way, say by clicking on a malicious link, or an attachment in an email, or even a social media post,” Fowler said. 

And if you thought Apple products don’t need antivirus software, think again. CR recommends AVG Antivirus for Mac. Testers found the free software easy to use and especially good at shielding online threats.

On your iPhone, antivirus software can do things like block malicious websites, calls, and texts. But because of Apple’s security restrictions, antivirus software can’t scan iPhones for viruses.

“I never really thought that I needed antivirus or anything like that. I thought the security was already built into their iOS systems,” Doherty said.

Since the security isn’t foolproof, Mark says he’s thinking about adding extra protection to all his Apple devices

CR says no matter what brand of device you use, protecting it and all your online accounts with a strong password is so important. Use a long string of random words, numbers and special characters- something no one could guess. 

Better yet, consider using a password manager so you don’t have to remember all of them.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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