Security for mobile devices is always a hot topic of conversation, but because of a few events that have taken place over the past year or so, Apple seems to dominate the conversation. That’s not to say users who prefer Samsung and other competitors don’t have their own security concerns, but Apple CEO Tim Cook’s spat with the government over iPhone security has put the company at the forefront of the security discussion. And according to reports earlier this year, Apple is now working on making the next iPhone even harder to hack.
The context of this initiative by Apple is that Cook and Co. are seeking to protect individual rights to privacy against the government. Those who supported Cook’s decision to defy the FBI and refuse to unlock a suspected terrorist’s phone through a “back door” believe that personal security and freedom is more important than any one investigation. Those who do not are willing to sacrifice some degree of security in order to allow for the possibility of an occasional investigation making the country, or even a single community, safer. Frankly, it’s a tough debate and there are strong points on both sides of it.
But when you put the government issue aside and consider enhanced security on the iPhone 7 from the perspective of the average consumer, there are numerous reasons that it looks like a very good thing indeed.
GAMING & PERSONAL INFO ARE LINKED
Plenty of mobile games have long been linked to personal accounts and information, but a recent phenomenon has only shined a spotlight on the fact that this could ultimately be a security risk.
Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm as one of the most popular mobile games of all time. And when signing in, many are choosing to use Google accounts and passwords. Niantic and Nintendo, the developers behind the app, are likely perfectly trustworthy with these accounts, but as one article put it, Pokémon Go is a hacker’s dream. The game collects information relating to people’s cameras, contacts, locations, dates of birth, and, yes, Google account info. In the hands of hackers, that could be a disaster.
GAMING & FINANCES ARE LINKED
We’re also seeing an increasing number of games linked to our bank accounts and not just through freemium models that enable in-app purchases. One of the most popular genres for gaming in the world remains casino activity, and a leading provider for casino gaming offers a full range of its titles for mobile users.
That means people are accessing a game that’s meant to involve serious amounts of real money deposited and exchanged, and doing so with their iPhones (and other mobile devices). That goes a little further than the average game connecting to in-app purchasing, as users may even have significant sums of money sitting in the game at a given time.
DIGITAL PAYMENTS ARE BECOMING MORE POPULAR
They haven’t taken the world by storm the way some expected them to, but digital payments are growing in popularity. As a result, there’s one more way in which our finances are linked to our phones. The battle is being waged as to which digital payment methods become commonplace, but whether you use Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayPal, or even some method of Bitcoin transfer, you’ll likely be adopting something of the like in the near future. And while these systems offer a lot of convenience, they also mean that your phone effectively becomes your credit card, and that’s worrisome to a lot of people with security concerns.
WE’RE DEPENDENT ON MOBILE DEVICES
With each passing year, it’s also fair to say that we’re more dependent on our mobile devices. This is true with regard to communication, information, entertainment, and several other aspects of life. The more these devices improve, the more we live through them, and in all likelihood that will mean security only continues to get more important.
We don’t know yet what the iPhone 7’s security updates will look like, but the fact that Apple is prioritizing the fight against hackers is good news for the average user. No matter how you feel about the FBI vs. Tim Cook situation, your personal information and finances may be safer on the iPhone 7 than on any other phone.