You have a VPN on your desktop. But not your iPhone. Time to fix that.
Yes, Samsung users need to read this too. But iPhone users are especially at risk.
Because of the OS myth.
The myth of the superior operating system is hurting iPhone users
Back in the 90s, my parents were about the only people in the world who owned an Apple Mac and weren’t graphic designers. We had a great computer, with no software. No MS Office, no Doom, no nada.
And no viruses.
We didn’t need to worry about that, for the same reason my parents didn’t need to worry that spending my after-school hours gleefully mowing down pedestrians in sprays of bloody pixels would make me grow up to be a maniac: we had a Mac.
Apart from forcing me to go up the street to a friend’s house to play Carmageddon, this relative isolation had one profound effect:
Mac users thought they were immune to malware.
No need to worry about that stuff, that only happens to PC users because their operating system is garbage.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Windows is garbage, for sure. And so is DOS – right from its inception as a clumsy copy of an operating system designed for suboptimal performance in suboptimal circumstances and, with an early techie’s sense of humor, labelled ‘Q-DOS’: Quick and Dirty Operating System.
Hardly surprising that when Bill Gates plagiarised Apple’s GUI to build another layer of clumsily-engineered interface on top of DOS, the result was a teetering pile of holes and an open invitation to exploitation.
And yes, Windows is better now, in that the core of the OS is Linux, with a lot of garbage (including some lovely proprietary spyware) tacked on to it.
But it’s still garbage.
Trouble is, Macs were never safe because they had a superior operating system. They were safe because nobody used them.
Kind of like living on an island in the middle of the ocean and congratulating yourself on never having been invaded.
Must be because we’re such great people, and both guys in the army are so tough and scary.
iPhone users don’t need to worry about malware. Just the internet
Mac OS/OS X’s share of the desktop market has exploded compared to what it was in the 90s. And there’s plenty of OS X malware now.
But iPhones have remained pretty safe, partly because in many ways, it genuinely is a far more secure operating system than the notoriously leaky Android platform.
It’s not malware that iPhone users need to worry about, at least not in the traditional sense.
Instead, the chief concern is the malicious effects of otherwise innocuous tools.
The biggest threats: public wifi, traveling abroad, phishing attacks, GPS… all stuff that’s independent of the operating system.
It doesn’t matter that iOS is a superior operating system – bad actors just come in through the gaping holes in your device that you open to the outside world.
We’ve talked about public wifi on here before; let’s just say, it’s a liability if you don’t have basic protections in place. iOS doesn’t come with these built in: to keep your data safe you need a VPN, it’s that simple.
Without one, almost everything you send across the internet – with the exception of content sent through secure messaging apps – can be intercepted and read, including your daily schedule and physical location.
Luckily, getting a VPN for iPhone is easy and getting it up and running is simple. We’ve collected the best VPNs for iPhones and our guide to setting one up makes it simple to protect yourself. Don’t get caught out!