What the Tech: Important iOS security update for all iPhones

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 4:22 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Apple has something for all iPhone owners: install an available update.

This goes for owners of the latest iPhone 14 all the way to owners of an iPhone 5, which means you may need to make a phone call to an older family member.

Many people, when they get a new smartphone they pass the old one to a parent, grandparent, or child. Depending on how old that phone is, it could pose a serious risk to their information and what’s on the phone. iPhones 6 and older can’t be updated to new operating systems which offer regular security updates.

The risks of hackers taking control of those phones are so great, Apple is offering a surprising update for older phones.

iOS 12.5.7 is for the iPhone 5s, and the iPhone 6 generation. According to Apple, the operating system at the time, iOS 12, is vulnerable to hackers who can install code and effectively do what they want with it such as accessing contacts, and other information on the phone.

For that matter, any phones not updated to at least iOS 15 are vulnerable to attacks. It’s unusual for Apple to offer these updates to nine and 10-year-old phones, so it must be important.

Apple doesn’t reveal the security holes before allowing users to install the update.

No sense in tipping off hackers. If you’ve given someone your old iPhone, let them know they should look for the red one under settings, and install the update as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, newer phones have an update to install as well. iOS 16.3 also patches some security flaws, and Apple urges all iPhone users to install the update when it is available.

There are other things included in iOS 16.3. You can now use external security keys that use a fingerprint for two-factor authentication.

There’s a new Unity wallpaper to honor Black History Month, and beginning with this update, you not only will need to continuously hold the side button and volume button down to call 911, but you’ll also need to release the buttons for the phone to call 911 automatically.

Apple says this should cut down on the number of accidental calls to 911 call centers. If you install an update, be aware it may take some time and space.

Updates can take several minutes to download, prepare, and install. It’s best to download updates when you’re on your home WiFi network and when you don’t need to use the phone for a few minutes.