They say that nothing improves without change so new versions of iOS and macOS must mean improvements to privacy and security, right? Now is the time to find out. New iPhones and new Macs are on the way, and each gets an upgrade with more features and functions to help keep your devices secure.
I’ve been running iOS 12 on an iPad and iPhone for more than a month. Likewise, macOS Mojave has been running on an older MacBook Pro that hasn’t hit hand-me-down status. Yet. First, both iOS 12 and macOS Mojave are more polish than pioneer with few major features and plenty of smooth and shiny parts.
iOS 12 – I don’t like this one but I understand where it can be useful. iOS 12 has a built-in password manager and will let you know if you’re using the same password across multiple websites or installed applications. That will give you incentive to change passwords that are used elsewhere.
USB Restricted Mode was new to iPhone and iPad in iOS 11.4.1 which makes it more difficult for authorities to hack (or hackers to hack) into your device by ensuring that a password is required whenever a third party Lightning or USB device tries to brute-force a password to enter without authorization.
macOS Mojave – Apple still doesn’t do enough for Safari users to prevent online tracking but the default browser now uses an intelligent tracking prevention mechanism so advertisers cannot follow you from site to site. If Google and Facebook hate it, it must be good.
iOS makes sure you give implicit permission for applications to use the camera and microphone on iPad and iPhone. The Mac in macOS Mojave will do the same thing. When an app wants to use either function, you must give it permission first.
Both iOS 12 and macOS Mojave have plenty of new features, but most are designed to make using Apple’s devices easier and more efficiently than in previous versions. I’m still miffed that Apple makes Google the default search engine when Google is the worst online tracker on the planet.
I admit that I enjoyed tinkering around with Screen Time, Apple’s answer to to the iPhone addiction problem many customers have developed. Apple hunk, Craig Federighi:
In iOS 12, we’re offering our users detailed information and tools to help them better understand and control the time they spend with apps and websites, how often they pick up their iPhone or iPad during the day and how they receive notifications
Screen Time controls have less to do with privacy and security and more to do with making sure the user stays in control of which apps are used and when. One fault I noticed right away is typical of Apple– not much granularity in control settings; certainly nothing like the controls found in 1Blocker X and Ad Block Multi.