Uncategorized

Regarding Privacy, Americans Rank iOS Over Android

Not long ago, Apple’s iOS 14 proved to be a game changer regarding privacy for smartphones users, and with the expectations of the new iPhone 14 set to run on iOS 16, Apple privacy and security has been reported to improve even more. 

New research from the cybersecurity company NordVPN found that 44% of Americans think the Apple iPhone offers them the best overall privacy options for smartphones, while just 24% think Samsung branded phones have the best privacy. Today’s smartphone users also rank iOS as having the best operating system privacy (46%) over Andriod (38%), while the remaining 16% think both are basically equal.

 “While in the past, people may have tended to purchase their computing devices based on the online security they could provide, more and more, people care about their online privacy just as much,” said Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “A recent brand privacy study of ours verifies this, as the top selling Apple, Samsung and Google smartphones are thought of as being more private, compared to the lesser selling brands.”

 Does anyone check their privacy settings?

According to these study results, most Americans (93%) are now using smartphones, and most users (86%) claim to know where the privacy settings are. While other reporting argues it’s  quite the task to actually read all the words in your smartphone and apps privacy policies, half surveyed (50%) claim to have read the privacy policy of their current smartphone brand.But the study revealed that less than half (47%) say they actually check and/or reset their privacy settings after updating their smartphone operating system, and almost one quarter (23%) never, or rarely, check their privacy settings after operating system updates. In fact, just 32% say they always check and/or reset their privacy settings after either downloading a new app, or updating an existing app.

While most Americans say they update their smartphone operating system (62% do automatic updates and 25% do manual updates when available), 6% only update software when there is a security risk, 3% will only update once any user issues with the latest update has been fixed and 4% don’t do any update, ever.

 “While most iPhone users do not have time to review every word in the privacy policy, Apple says it uses your personal data only when they have legal basis to do so, or with your consent,” continued Markuson. “With this in mind, cybersecurity experts hope that at least the summary of the privacy policy is read before agreeing to it when starting to use a new device and users should review all notes about their privacy and security when updating their devices, and apps.”

 Take smartphone privacy into their own hands

The study did show that a good percentage of Americans take appropriate measures to further protect their privacy when they’re online as more than half (55%) noted they are very careful about any links they click on. While the top selling smartphones have relatively safe and secure operating systems that have few vulnerabilities or significant bugs, that doesn’t mean that its users can ignore their security.

iPhones are not immune to phishing attacks, malware, and hackers. You still need to know how to protect your phone and your information. Here are some other smart tips to keep your new iPhone 14 more secure and private:

●      Keep your iPhone software up to date

●      Secure iPhone access with a long and random passcode, and change regularly

●      Turn on “Find My Phone” to help you find it if stolen or lost
Review your apps privacy settings

●      Turn “Allow Siri When Locked” to the off position

●      Use a VPN (virtual private network)

“Many people have come to believe that Apple products, especially iPhones, are hack-proof, but vulnerabilities still exist as no smartphone is fully immune to cyber threats,”  continued Markuson. “If you truly care about the security of your private data, using a reliable VPN for your iPhone, or any smartphone for that matter, is critical for protecting users when using public wifi, avoiding ISP tracking, and generally enhancing the security of your mobile devices.”

 Methodology

A national online survey of 1,002 U.S. consumers, ages 18 and over, was conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of NordVPN in July of 2021. Survey responses were nationally representative of the U.S. population for age, gender, region, and ethnicity. The maximum margin of sampling error was +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.