Every day, we walk around with these tracking devices in our pockets, following our every move, spying through our camera, and even listening to our everyday conversations. Cell Phones have become embedded in every aspect of our lives. With all the new features that come with updates and the constant strive for more capability into these handheld devices, it’s logical to wonder how your privacy and security are being impacted. In former years, there was no doubt that IOS would outperform Android 7.0 Nougat in a heartbeat, but times have changed and the difference between the two have become minimal so is that still the case today?
Let’s first take a look at the biometrics on an LG G5 running on 7.0 Nougat and an iPhone 6 Plus on Apple’s latest OS. The addition of the fingerprint sensor within the last few years has made it that much easier to unlock your phone and even provides the much-needed convenience in today’s age. But, in addition to fingerprint capability, the LG G5 provides the added protection of either a Knock Code, Pattern, Password or Pin. On the other hand, the IOS gives the option of either a four or six-digit code, and a custom digit or alphanumeric code. With only about 10,000 combinations with a four-digit code, it would take about just 4 and a half days to crack an iPhone making it the least safe. Increasing to a six-digit code, of course increases the possible number of combinations adding another thousand or so possibilities. The LG G5 offers the same options and more with the Knock Code and a Pattern option which are even harder to crack. While there have been reports that just typing in a really long password a couple thousand characters long could hack an android phone in a matter of 5 minutes, this also calls into question the open and closed source nature of these two phones. Android’s open source nature offers more opportunities for customizability and despite the previous sentence is in a sense more secure. Since anyone can look over the source code, bugs and vulnerabilities like this one can easily be spotted and fixed. A closed model like Apples does provide smoother and simpler experience for users but also means that it takes longer to patch up bugs once they are found.
While neither they iPhone 6 Plus nor the LG G5 come with call and SMS encrypted by default, since its third generation of iPhones, Apple has incorporated hardware-based encryption which ultimately puts Apple slightly ahead being that full disk encryption combined with a strong password provides the ultimate protection for your phone. After entering a wrong password a handful amount of times, the whole phone goes on lockdown keeping your data safe. With Apple, blue iMessages sent between iPhones are encrypted independently before they are stored on Apple’s servers while the green ones are not since they are sent through a mobile provider. Unlike Apple, since there is a wide range of Android devices it makes it more difficult to replicate the same idea with SMS across these devices. Android companies have also long stuck to Software based encryption by default but since Lollipop 5.0 began the use of cryptographic keys making it much more difficult to extract information from the device. Additionally, SD card encryption is available across most android devices like the LG G5 providing protection for the whole phone since SD cards often make up the bulk of the storage on android devices.
Without a doubt, androids have made tremendous improvements throughout the years but Apple’s overall tight ecosystem does give them a slight advantage for 1st place when it comes to security. Of course, the threat level for each of these phones constantly changes day by day and both are prone to serious vulnerabilities and malware attacks from things such as third party apps. In the end, honestly, it all depends on your preference but when it comes to security, for now, Apple along with its iPhone 6 Plus take the trophy by a fraction of a point.
Suggested Apps for Added Security
Android: Avast Mobile Security – Antivirus & AppLock is one of play store’s top apps if you’re looking to add to the default options on your android. It not only protects against malwares and viruses but warns you against installed apps or sites that violate your privacy. Avast also comes with a newly added Photo Vault that encrypts and hides your photos once they are moved into the vault. A Wi-Fi Scanner, call blocker, firewall, AppLock and a number of additional features are also included.
iPhone: To Apple’s advantage, the closed nature of their software and data encryption wards off against a majority of threats so there’s really no need for any additional apps. But just in case, an app like SurfEasy VPN would be your best bet. It not only hides your IP address and location, but limits advertiser tracking as your browse the web. It also encrypts your personal data and allows you to safely browse over unsecured Wi-Fi networks worry-free.