Mobile Security Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Android vs. iOS security – which is more secure?

With iOS, Apple has created perhaps the most secure operating system widely available on desktops or mobile devices. Six years and 300 million units sold after the first iPhones were released, there has never been a proven case of iOS malware that infected non-jailbroken devices.

That's not to say iOS is impregnable. Security researchers have snuck a few proof-of-concept apps into the iTunes Store that showed, at least temporarily, how iOS could be compromised. (Apple always quickly patches the holes.) Police forces and intelligence services know how to crack into iPhones, and can even turn them into listening devices.

Although Android has significantly improved its security in the past few years, introducing new lockscreen options, the ability to remotely lock your device and a malware scanner for both the Google Play app store and Android devices, there's still a lot of room for improvement.

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We would love to see native anti-phishing tools for Chrome on Android, for instance, and spyware protection tools design by Google would be a welcome addition. So would a foolproof screening system for the Google Play app store.

Ultimately, however, Android remains less secure than iOS as a result of its core design philosophy: Google wants to empower users as much as possible, but that very freedom makes it easier for hackers and malicious software to infiltrate your system.

If you're using a phone or tablet powered by Android, browse safely and think twice before downloading apps from third-party developers. Install and use free or paid security apps. And keep in mind that nearly all the malware written for mobile devices today is for Android devices.

Tom's Guide Staff

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