How complicated is it to secure your Mac and iPhone from outside hackers, government intrusions, or nosey neighbors?
If so, it’s also the only way to go. Add a password to your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, and your security improved by an order of magnitude and then some. Toss in Touch ID on a MacBook Pro, iPhone, or iPad, and security went up again.
The problem here is simple. Security for Apple’s products are options. They’re not defaults or requirements but they should be. I did a little informal survey among neighbors, a few friends, some family members, and a slightly larger group of co-workers; most of whom use iPhones and Macs, but a smattering of Windows and Android users.
The majority did not use any password or other security measures at all. That’s a majority, as in slightly more than half. That’s crazy. My follow up questions were aimed at Google and Facebook usage. Of the few dozen family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers questioned last week, about one in 10 did not use Facebook or search with Google; preferring no social network usage, to alternatives like Bing or DuckDuckGo for search.
Although about as unscientific as you can get, and limited to a geographic location within miles of where I live in Florida, and with a higher dosage of Mac, iPhone, and iPad users than the national average, the results should be cause for concern. Meaning, it’s probably worse for Windows and Android smartphone users than for Apple’s customers who tend to be of higher education, higher socio-economic levels, and probably care about such things more.
Simply put, there are three classes of users.
First, we of the slightly paranoid crowd who don’t trust anyone. Second, those who don’t bother not to trust anyone. Third, those criminal, terrorists, and hackers who know the dangers of tracking and create a more secure environment on whatever devices they use for whatever evil deeds they plot.
Whose fault is this lack of security consciousness?
Let’s blame Apple. Not because the company doesn’t do enough. Can you name a major participant in the personal computer, tablet, or smartphone industry that does it better? No. Apple should be criticized because its customers all too often don’t bother to implement the security options Apple gives them.
That can be fixed. Make security options default. Require users to complete the basic security options, not as options but as defaults. Then, once they’re set, they can be allowed to go back and change the defaults.
Recently I came across a website which collects security breach news. It reads like a who’s who of recent news items regarding ransomware, FBI searches, the WannaCry outbreak, compromised email, watchdog agencies, cyberattacks, malware outbreaks, and Kaspersky Lab (run by Russians; anybody see a problem there?).
And those topics were from the last few days of last week.
Yes, it’s a jungle out there. Security and privacy options should be requirements, defaults, and not options easily dismissed or ignored.