Android VS iOS; Which is Securer?

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Android and iOS both are not coming slowly in terms of popularity and every year millions of sets are marketed.

But there is a huge difference in both platforms, whether it is security or features.

Most people prefer features over security; however, many security-conscious individuals might have a question comparing the security of both the platforms.

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Android or iOS both are not entirely secure but inspecting different aspects of these platforms will definitely find a winner.

Device Manufacture And Hardware

The device’s manufacturing is as important insecurity as it is for the appealing user. It is the first thing an individual notice before buying Android or iOS.

But have you ever thought of security that lies in manufacturing and design?

iPhone has almost the same design as it is only manufactured by Apple. On the other hand, Android technology is made by many international as well as local companies which have a huge difference in terms of manufacturing.

Android security largely depends on the hardware it’s running on. Some of the manufacturers design more effective system making sure that all the built-in security features remain working without any flaw.

For instance, the Samsung’s KNOX 2.0 platform provides more effective booting process to avoid loading of any illegitimate software when the mobile starts.

Apple has devices which can effectively work together with the OS and therefore, they have more control over them. To make security more authentic, iOS users are restricted to fewer choices when it comes to features.

Yet, Android provides a wide range of installation of devices due to its open nature. Some of the devices are secure to integrate but many leave security loopholes in your Android phone.

Depending on the manufactures, Android comes with two types of device-based security; Retinal and fingerprint scanners or passwords and patterns.

Operating System; Update and Compatibility

Most of the threats and vulnerability attacks are due to the lack of updates which are accompanied by security patches.

Android update versions have huge time gaps as well as very few Android devices are updated to the latest version. Due to a large number of Android devices and different manufacturers, it is really hard to maintain the same level of security.

Yet, iOS devices are really effective in this matter. They have regular updates which are easier to distribute and control. They have a good control over the users through which they make sure that all the iOS gets an update.

When comparing Android and iOS updates, it is also a fact that iOS updates have a full support for the older version which is better than Android.

For instance, iOS 11 has complete support for iPhone 5S which was released back in 2013.

The latest version of Android, “Oreo” is running on just 0.2% of devices, however, iOS 11 was updated on 66% compatible devices after just 6 weeks of its release.

Apple App Store VS Google Play Store

Android users might be happier with the variety and options of apps they have on Google Play Store as compared to the iOS users.

Apple’s App Store has less app variety but all the apps are securer than Android. This is because Apple has more restrictions and higher standards for an app to successfully pass their security check process. Also, an iOS user could not install any app from other sources until the device is not jailbroken.

However, in Android devices, there is an option through which user can tweak settings to install an app from an unknown source.

On many occasions, apps on Google Play Store were found vulnerable or injected with a malware. Because Play Store also has a security check but it is not so authentic and illegitimate apps could still pass through.

For instance, a malicious version of WhatsApp was displayed on Google Play and was downloaded by 1 million people before being recognized and removed. That is a high-security risk.

OS Security Code

“The point is because Android is basically open source, anyone can look at what’s in Android. You can’t do that with iOS,” said Jack Gold, principal analyst with J. Gold Associates.

According to Gold, if a developer induces a little modification to an app on Android, it initiates a security issue.

On the other side, Apple is much focused on the changes developers can make and they don’t release their source code too.  Therefore, it’s harder to jailbreak the iPhone device. Even if a device is a jailbreak and it is discovered by Apple then they will shut it down.

Source code availability makes a device vulnerable and easily accessible to a wide range of hackers as well as to all the malicious entities out there.

Popularity

Popularity is a bit weak affecting factor for the privacy but still, it does make a difference.

According to Forrester, Android has a lion’s share of 74% market portion followed by a 21% share of Apple. Such a large number of devices is difficult to manage as well as the hackers are more into the target of Android phones.

Developing malware for Android is more advantageous for the hacker as they have plenty of options to invade in. Also, the open marketplace and popularity propel more apps for Android.

On contrary, a lesser number of devices and stringent monitoring of iOS make it less vulnerable to cyber-attack.

Android VS iOS; Who Is The Winner?

With a security, perspective iOS is far better than Android.

iOS has more restricted yet high check and balance procedure on all their devices and the services they are regularly releasing for their customers.

On contrary, Android in itself is a bit lacking but it could be a secure platform with the right precautions by a user himself. For instance, avoiding download from unknown apps, using antivirus software, and other encryption tools.

Android and iOS both are burning the candle at both ends to make 2018 and coming year to be more secure. iPhone has plans to introduce a facial scanner for guaranteed owner privacy, yet, the Android has hopes high to equal the level of competitors.

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Zehra Ali is a Tech Reporter and Journalist. She has done her Masters in Mass Communication. Topics related to cybersecurity, IoT, AI, Big Data and other privacy matters are extensively covered by her on various platforms. You can follow her on twitter.

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