iOS 8 Security Features Have Turned a Smartphone into Fort Knox

Earlier this month, Apple found itself in the public eye when the iCloud photos of several celebrities were leaked onto the Internet. The company has been quick to respond to the security breach: the new iOS 8 security features announced this week address 53 vulnerabilities present with iOS 7 that are immediately included once the user upgrades to iOS 8.

The iOS 8 release fixed several security concerns. In fact, these updates are so substantial that, according to Fortune, “iOS 8 . . . would automatically encrypt data stored on iPhones and protected by your passcode, making it impossible even for Apple to share that information with the government or law enforcement.” However, this doesn’t extend to data stored in Apple’s iCloud.

Upgrading to iOS 8

Other iOS 7 bugs included some that allowed hackers to access phones and install unverified apps for phishing information, and another that helped them steal sensitive information and bypass protections. Some of them date back to 2013, according to ZDNet. While these bugs are all fixed with the new iOS 8 security features, users with iOS 7 still need to accept the OS update. This causes a problem for users who can’t get iOS 8 on their devices (such as users who own iPhones older than the 4s), leaving them open to attacks through these 53 vulnerabilities.

The list of fixes is extensive and covers Wi-Fi MAC address tracking and retrieving Apple ID information through a hole in the sandbox, along with other problems people have had. Apple’s security is a hot-button topic right now with the celebrity-photo leak still fresh on peoples’ minds, but so far it seems Apple has taken that to heart. Users should keep in mind, however, that many of these changes will not apply to iCloud.

With all the new iOS 8 security features, which update are you happiest to see?

Image courtesy of Flickr