After several controversies regarding Apple iPhone's lock screen glitches, the company has released a software update to answer all of the security issues.
The first public iteration of iOS 7 was released on September 18. Users with compatible technology were able to download and update their devices for free.
However, it didn't take long for people to discover a glitch that would put your personal data at risk if someone managed to get hold of your iPhone. Eight days later, Apple released a software update to address this security issue.
The passcode glitch
If you use a passcode lock on your iPhone and are running iOS 7.0, someone might be able to bypass this layer of security. The glitch allows unauthorized users to get to your photos, contacts, and social media posting privileges.
This is achieved by executing a number of gestures, and jumping from the Control Center, to the Clock app, then bringing up the multitasking window.
IPhone users count on their passcode, firmware encryption, and app sandboxing to keep their information safe. If a thief is able to get his hands on your iPhone, however, he can use a combination of gestures and functions to bypass the passcode lock. This obviously poses a huge threat to your personal information and to sensitive business documents stored on iPhones.
The software update
Apple released the first software update for iOS 7 on September 26, 2013. It's known as iOS 7.0.2, and in the official release documentation, Apple states that it "Fixes bugs that could allow someone to bypass the Lock screen passcode."
You can install this update by plugging your iPhone into your computer with the USB cable, launching iTunes, and clicking "Update." You can also install iOS 7.0.2 wirelessly by opening the "Settings" app, tapping on "General," and then selecting "Software Update."
In addition to fixing the lock screen security glitch, Apple has also introduced a Greek keyboard function for passcodes.
When you tap "Install Now," it's recommended that you plug your iPhone into a power source, so it doesn't run out of battery power during the update. You'll need to agree to Apple's terms of service again, before the update installs.
The iPhone will power down and display the Apple logo, with a progress meter. The update takes a few minutes to install. Your iPhone will restart and return to the lock screen once the update is complete.
Best security practices
Generally, tech users should be quick to install software updates on a regular basis. When new digital threats appear on the horizon, developers begin working to address the latest weaknesses and loopholes right away.
The fact that Apple was able to release a fix for the lock screen glitch means that all updated technology is safe from this particular attack. However, if your personal or work-related devices don't receive updates, then your data may be vulnerable.
IT departments work to improve your personal security by managing employee tech practices. You can take a page from their approach to keep your information safe.
Rotate your passwords every few months and avoid using old codes. Don't use a "Simple Passcode," which is a four-digit number. Instead, set a longer passcode to secure your iPhone, especially if there's extremely sensitive information on the device. Set up "Find my iPhone" so that you can wipe your information from the device remotely, if your phone gets lost or stolen.
Apple and other tech companies have a responsibility to develop secure systems and to supply fixes as threats present themselves. Luckily, the spread of tech news online probably helps more than hurts, by raising awareness about these glitches so consumers can take action.
Get into the habit of installing system updates, rotating passcodes, and paying attention to the latest tech news to keep your information safe.