Apple Enhances Privacy and Security for iOS 8

October 3, 2014 | By James Raymond

Apple IOS 8
The recent release of the iOS 8 Apple operating system for mobile computers introduces new technologies and features for Apple mobile devices that enhance security and privacy.  In the current Internet threat environment, it is critical that you protect your personal information from hackers and snoopers.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay, in simple terms it is a digital wallet and mobile payment service featured by Apple Inc. This exclusive feature lets the users to make payments though their apple devices either at any physical store or through online checkout. This has said to replace the magnetic swiping of both the credit card and debit card transactions using those swiping terminals. This has been in the news of late that it would be released in some days by Apple.

Apple Pay will not store your credit card and account data on any servers and devices. This is done by generating a one-time password to connect to your account to make a payment. This one time password is one type of two factor authentication that helps users to stay safe from online theft and fraud.

Device Settings

Device settings may slightly vary from each version of iOS to the other. Though the changes seem to be small, they can contribute a big difference in maintaining privacy.

The three main changes that the users should consider are:

  • Default Search Engine
  • Contact List
  • Location Data

Default Search Engine: Apple is implementing the DuckDuckGo search engine that promises privacy protection when searching. Users will have the option to make it their default search engine. DuckDuckGo is search engine that maintains privacy, by not collecting any of the user’s information in terms of searches, targeting any particular advertisements at the user. One basic drawback of DuckDuckGo is that all the searches are not customized as per the user’s needs, hence searching takes a long time.

Contact list: This contains personal data that you have on your phone, sometimes these contacts have been uploaded and saved in some servers by apps. To avoid this, Apple is bringing in a better version of developer controls, to get only certain parts of the contact list. This benefits the user by limiting application access to their data.

Location data: This option was also available in the prior iOS versions with either of the two facilities, always on or always off. The new version of iOS, iOS 8 has brought in an update with a new option restricting apps to only access the location when the app is running.

Protection of Data:
iOS 8, is way beyond its advancement in technology, pushing towards the health data and wearable computing to the devices. Apple is trying to focus on the ways to prevent third parties from hacking and tracking your data from your device. Each device has a unique MAC address through which the users are being tracked down on the website visits and so on. This was found to be insecure by the Apple developers, so to overcome this, in iOS 8, MAC address becomes randomized while connecting to new Wi-Fi spots, that requests for information, making the tracking of users activity more difficult.

Though Apple is bringing in new technology to support us in security and privacy, by protecting information from hackers, we as users are also responsible to control and maintain security. Setting complex passwords, genuinely using the 2 factor authentication, updating the latest software updates can make us more secure.

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