Kenny Sahr

iOS devices are easy to secure. By following a few simple tips, you can almost guarantee that your iOS mobile device will be more secure than any PC you’ve ever owned.

  • Don’t jailbreak your phone
  • Only use secure wifi
  • Enable auto updates
  • Lock your iPhone

Don’t Jailbreak It

Jailbreaking an iOS device is the equivalent of rooting an Android device. It removes limitations, allows exploits and removes every layer of quality security from your iOS device. The ends don’t justify the means; a few Easter eggs and bonuses aren’t worth the cost.

One reason that many people jailbreak their iOS device is so they can customize it. If customizing your device is so important to you, you’re using the wrong ecosystem. Apple’s mobile devices are a work of art, but customization isn’t one of their strong points.

Another reason is to be able to download banned apps. Apple employs a strong hand when it comes to approving apps. Again, if this is an issue, you’re in the wrong place. Don’t jailbreak your iPhone so you can download a few cool apps.

Jailbreaking an iOS device is essentially removing the security sandbox that protects your device. You immediately expose your device to malware – something that is nearly impossible on iOS. iOS has an impeccable track record when it comes to malware and viruses. Jailbroken phones are known to have stability issues. Finally, consider your warranty null and void.

Only Use Secure Wifi

The unsecure wifi connection is the weak link of mobile devices and BYOD. Here’s why – a hacker with malicious intent can pretend to be a wifi hotspot. Let’s say you are at a mall and sit down at a restaurant to kill some time. You look for a wifi hotspot and connect. A hacker within range of your device (and hundreds of others) poses as a wifi hotspot and gladly allows you to connect. Within minutes, he gains access to everything on your device – passwords, personal information and whatever else is there. This is commonly known as the “man in the middle attack.” It is sort of like delivering a letter to a fake courier in a spy film.

Auto Updates

Do you have the time to read about every potential security flaw? I didn’t think so. The best way to ensure that your iOS device has every security patch is to enable auto updates. This is a new feature on iOS 7. Click on Settings and look for the Updates option. You can make sure your device only downloads updates via wifi so they don’t eat into your data plan.

Lock Your iPhone

iPhone 5 allows you to create a Touch ID with your fingerprint. Even if you don’t want to go that far, you can protect your phone with a passcode lock. You won’t need to enter it every time you access your phone – only upon boot, when you haven’t used it for 48 hours and a few other situations. Choose a complex password and not the same one that you use for social networks. Your iOS device should use a banking style password that isn’t just a simple word.

As you can see, iOS is one of the easiest operating systems for casual users to secure. Follow these steps and your device will be malware-free!

Kenny Sahr

Who’s in rehab and who’s wearing an orange jumpsuit at the LA County Jail? Who is the most likely to OD (overdose) in 2014? Why do video game characters have such a perfect behavior record and how does this affect the medium?

NPCs Don’t Go To Rehab

Rock stars and movie stars have always excelled at getting in trouble. Sometimes this is good for the brand while other times it leads to an early date with death. The internet is full of “celebrities in rehab or prison” lists. No NPC (non-player character, the term for video game characters) has ever checked into the Betty Ford Clinic or NYC’s infamous Riker’s Island jail.

NPCs Don’t Do Politics

Every time I hear Barbra Streisand singing “Memories, like the corners of my mind,” I recall memories of her political rants. Celebrities – including Streisand – do great things for causes they believe in. I wouldn’t want to live in a world that denies them these rights. People who win talent contests tend to have more extreme political views that those of us who live normal lives. When is the last time you heard a celebrity say, “My political views are always evolving and I respect both sides?” Video game characters, on the other hand, never leave the “in-game experience” to go to a political rally.

In 2000, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich testified before the Senate, explaining why the heavy metal rockers were suing filesharing network Napster. Metallica won that case, but the band’s image took a hit. It was out-of-character for fans to hear the aggressive thrash beat drummer talking like a copyright lawyer.

Immerse Me!

For me, it ruins the immersive experience to think of what a musician or actor said about President Whoever. I’ve never heard even one of Justin Bieber’s songs, but I already know too much about him. The entertainment sections of news sites are filled with articles about the personal lives of celebrities and very little on the content they create.

Video game characters don’t have the opportunity to ruin the story. Everything I know about Elizabeth Comstock is from Bioshock Infinite. She never gave a speech with a chair at the Republican National Convention like Clint Eastwood did in 2012. She never trashed the President (and for me, it doesn’t matter which one or which side) like Harry Belafonte, of Banana Boat Song (Day-O) fame.

Pacman, Mario, and Lara Croft display impeccable behavior outside of the games they star in. Even the shady characters of zombie horror game, The Last Of Us, have yet to appear in a mugshot. You’d think that the thugs from Grand Theft Auto would show up downtown with shotguns. Maybe they’re too busy with their Bible lessons.

Bob Dylan – The Immersive Entertainer

Bob Dylan wrote “The Times They Are a-Changin’”, “Blowing in the Wind” and dozens of protest songs. In his personal life, he shuns politics and rarely gives media interviews. In 1964, he told Village Voice columnist Nat Hentoff, “Me, I don’t want to write for people anymore – you know, be a spokesman. I’m not part of no movement. I just can’t make it with any organisation.”

In 2004, Dylan was interviewed on 60 Minutes. Here is what he said about politics to Ed Bradley:

“I never wanted to be a prophet or savior. Elvis maybe. I could easily see myself becoming him. But prophet? No. My stuff were songs, you know? They weren’t sermons,” says Dylan. “If you examine the songs, I don’t believe you’re gonna find anything in there that says that I’m a spokesman for anybody or anything really.”

“But they saw it,” says Bradley.

“They must not have heard the songs,” says Dylan.

If only Hollywood would take a cue from the master. Until then, I will continue to immerse myself in Bob Dylan and video games.