Are iPhones or Android-Based Smartphones More Secure?

By Jessica Drew
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The biggest competitors in the smartphone market are Apple, the maker of the top-selling iPhone, and Google, the maker of the Android operating system. Which is more secure the iPhone or Android-Based Smartphones? The Apple iPhone runs on the iOS (the iPhone Operating System), and several smartphone manufacturers produce many different types of phones that run on the Android Operating System. At the moment, the iPhone outsells the top Android-based smartphones, but both types of phones are very popular and many experts in the industry predict that Android phones will overtake the iPhone at some point in the near future. Others predict that the iPhone will stay the top dog for a long time. Those who subscribe to the latter point of view believe that one of the reasons the iPhone will remain number one is because the iOS is incredibly secure from malware in comparison to Android-based smartphones.

The most basic reason that the iPhone is more secure than Android smartphones is that the Android Operating System is open source. This means that literally anyone – from smartphone developers to anyone with an internet connection – can access the code that comprises the Android Operating System. On one hand, open source technology encourages innovation from developers all over the world and adds to the functionality and creativity behind the Android Operating System. On the other hand, this also allows hackers to more easily come in and understand the underlying architecture of the system and develop spyware, Trojans, worms and other forms of malware for the Android Operating System.

The Apple iPhone’s operating system is proprietary and imposes what’s called a sandbox concept. This sophisticated method isolates pieces of the platform and largely prevents viruses from replicating. In fact, there are no known operating system viruses for any of Apple’s products, which include iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and iMac desktop computers. The Apple operating system employs advanced antivirus features, and hackers have not been able to crack the Apple operating system so far. As hackers continually become more adept and Apple products become more popular, system-wide viruses for the iOS could appear at some point in the future. However, at the present time you do not have to worry about any antivirus software for your iPhone or about your iPhone becoming infected with anything because the iOS is incredibly secure.

What iPhone users still have to be wary of, however, is what’s called social engineering attacks. These attacks have nothing to do with either the iPhone OS or the Android Operating System. These types of viruses are acquired when users are scammed into downloading malicious software or visiting phishing websites. This most often happens through email scams that go viral. As always, iPhone and Android smartphone users alike should never download anything from a source that is not 100 percent trustworthy. However, when it comes to smartphone security based on the merits of the operating system alone, the iPhone beats out Android-based phones by a long shot. Apple’s proprietary iOS and sandboxing methodology is, for the time being, iron clad, while the open source Android operating system leaves the door wide open for hackers.

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