If you're an iPhone owner, you probably use it to do everything from order food to book flight reservations. At this point, the handheld technological marvel has become like an extra appendage that we rely on to get many things done. But if you're reading this on your device, take notice: Apple just issued a major warning to all iPhone users to do this one thing immediately. Read on to see what this alert could mean for you.
Any iPhone owner is certainly no stranger to this kind of manufacturer's alert: Apple is warning all iPhone users to download the latest operating software as quickly as possible as part of a major security update. The company says that the release of iOS 14.6 will address 43 existing security vulnerabilities in the existing software—including some that are considered potentially serious, Forbes reports.
As usual, Apple is purposely remaining vague about which security flaws it's fixing with the latest update, which hints that hackers have yet to exploit the existing loopholes. But according to one expert, the most serious updates appear to involve WebKit, which is the engine that powers Apple's Safari browser that has been at the center of other recent security loopholes on the device.
According to Sean Wright, SME application security lead at Immersive Labs, malicious code could be run that "could be chained with some of the higher level vulnerabilities to lead to a compromise of the entire device" due to specific security gaps in WebKit. "This is pretty much as bad as it gets," he told Forbes.
Wright urged anyone who uses an iPhone to download the latest update "as soon as possible." Fortunately, he said the existing issues can easily be fixed: "There's an update available to address these issues, and as far as we can tell, none of the vulnerabilities are being actively exploited."
If you're not sure if the latest update has come through for your iPhone yet, you can easily check and start the download yourself. To get started, tap on the "Settings" and click on "General" and then "Software Update." If your device is up-to-date, it will be running iOS 14.6.
Thankfully, the latest update isn't just a patch for a major security loophole. iOS 14.6 also includes some useful upgrades for your phone, including new subscription options for podcasts, important updates for Apple's new AirTag tracking devices, and a fix on a bug that was disconnecting calls while using Bluetooth.
But even if you don't have an iPhone, the update also affects other popular Apple products. The latest release includes new software for iPad, Apple Watch, AppleTV, and Mac computers.
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