While smartphones are amazingly versatile, many of them can also pose major security problems. One great and simple way of boosting your phone’s security is being careful which phone you buy in the first place. Allow us to help you with precisely that…
Security: reasons to keep it in mind
Why should you keep security at the forefront of your mind when considering which smartphone to buy? Because it could save you a lot of headache and anguish later on. Just imagine the pain of a hacker or virus getting into that phone and stealing passwords, payment details or other sensitive data it could come across there.
While choosing the most secure smartphone possible might not strictly guarantee your security, it can still considerably strengthen it. So, what phones should you avoid?
Do Androids dream of electric scammers?
Among mobile operating systems, Android has a poor reputation for security – and it isn’t hard to see why in light of research last year, conducted by Pulse Secure, finding that 97% of mobile malware targets Android. The operating system’s open source nature means that app developers can more easily insert malicious code.
The lack of regular updates that Android handsets, the Nexus line aside, tend to receive also hampers their security. Such a lack can be a good reason to be wary of older smartphones in general. In an interview with What Mobile, Steve Lord, who runs Mandalorian Security Services Ltd, has warned that older smartphones are “usually affected by known weaknesses”, but said that BB10-based BlackBerry devices fare relatively well among them.
Windows, but not necessarily for hackers to look through
In that interview, Lord also spoke positively about the security of Windows Phone – though, at least in his words that were published, he didn’t make any specific mention of Windows 10 Mobile, the recent successor to Windows Phone 8.1. Windows 10 Mobile could be less secure than its predecessor, given that it is essentially identical to its desktop counterpart, hardware architecture aside.
One good reason to have faith in Windows 10 Mobile is the regular updates, including security updates, that Microsoft sends out for it; however, the company has pledged to issue these updates only until 9 January 2018. Therefore, buy a Windows 10 Mobile handset now, and you can expect to get less than a year-and-a-half of support. That’s short compared to the support you can expect to get from a recently-released iPhone…
The iPhones have it
Apple vets all software before it becomes available on the iOS App Store – and, except with jailbroken devices, users are unable to install third-party apps from other sources. As a result, iPhones seem to benefit from cast-iron security compared to Android phones, the most obvious alternatives for most people.
Furthermore, with Apple only this year dropping regular updates for the iPhone 4S, which hit the market in 2011, you can typically expect a just-released iPhone to get regular updates for at least four to five years. That’s great for keeping its security stringent.