In the age of smartphones and apps, mobile security has become a quintessential part of our technological experience. If your phone isn’t secure, your life isn’t secure. Once a hacker gets a hold of your phone information, they’ll have the ability to ruin you. So which operating system is better for your personal, mobile security? Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android? Let’s take a deeper look.
Android has a lot more apps and users than iOS, which means that the quantity of security problems is much higher amongst Android users. The percentage of problems, however, seems to be worse amongst iOS users. In July of 2013, iOS had 207,843 free apps for their users. Of those applications, 45 percent have location tracking capabilities. Android, on the other hand, provides its users with 314,474 free applications, and only 34.5 percent of them can locate your phone.
The ability to locate you, although it’s really creepy, isn’t the only security problem that smartphone users have, though. There are some apps that can even look at your contact list. 7.69 percent of Android apps can access your contacts, while 19 percent of iOS’ applications can, as well. Apple and Google are gaining more and more control over your phones, with every new model of phone that comes out.
While applications have been causing security problems for smartphone users, they certainly aren’t the only threat for your mobile security.
Malware is software that is specifically designed to shutdown your phone and steal your personal information, in the process. McAfee, known for it’s virus protection software for laptop and desktop computers, did a study to see which phones are most prone to malware. The results were pretty surprising. McAfee recorded 792 different samples of Malware, in 2011. In 2012, however, they recorded 36,699 unique samples of malware. Of the 36,699 examples of malware that we saw in 2012, 97 percent were designed to attack Google’s Android phones. Since Android is having such issues with its protection, many businesses are requiring their employees to use iOS phones. Some companies will take it to the next level, and supply their workers with Apple’s phones. Android’s lack of security is a large reason why 92 percent of mobile malware is coming from their phones.
The reason why iOS is generally more safe than Android, is because Google doesn’t have the same control over their Android apps, that Apple does over those of iOS. Google is also slow to react, once a malicious app has been loaded to the Google Play, Android’s application marketplace. One harmful app, for example, was downloaded 260,000 times before Google removed it from Google Play. In 2011, Google removed 100 applications from their app store.
While iOS isn’t invincible, they are usually much safer than Android. While Google is slow to react malicious apps, Apple has worked hard to make sure that such apps can’t even make their way into the App Store. Apple downloads, tests and has to verify any app that makes its way into their App Store, making it harder for malware apps to get into the marketplace, and making apps trustworthy to download. This advanced threat protection is a major selling point for Apple’s iPhone.
While there is no mobile operating system that is perfect, there are definitely some that are safer than others. Since smartphones have become so mainstream, the quantity of malware apps is increasing by the day. Be smart with the apps that you download. Make sure you look into some malware protection software for your phone, to avoid having your personal information get into the wrong hands. As you take care of your phone, you’ll be taking care of something that’s much more important than any mobile device: your personal information.