Security isn’t the first thing most people think of when they start shopping for a smartphone. We care a lot more about apps, ease of use, price—and that used to be right. But these days, now that most people have huge amounts of personal data on their phones, security is more important than ever.
When it comes to the security of your smartphone, which operating system you choose makes a big difference.
The ways in which operating systems are designed and maintained goes a long way to determining how secure your phone will be—and the leading options are very different.
If you care about having a secure phone and keeping your personal data personal, there’s only one smartphone choice: iPhone. Here’s why:
Market Share: A Big Target
Market share can be a major determiner of an operating system’s security. That’s because virus writers, hackers, and cybercriminals want to have the biggest impact that they can and the best way to do that is to attack a very widely used platform. That’s why Windows is the most attacked operating system on the desktop.
On smartphones, Android has the largest marketshare—about 80% compared to iOS’s 20% (there’s a very strong argument to be made that market share doesn’t matter: even though it only has 20% of the market, Apple makes 60-70% of the profit for the entire mobile phone industry.
I’d always rather have more money and a smaller market share, but that’s an argument for another article). Because of that, Android is the #1 smartphone target for hackers and criminals.
Even if Android had the best security in the world (which it doesn’t, as we’ll see), it would be virtually impossible for Google and its hardware partners to close every security hole, fight every virus, and stop every digital scam while still giving customers a device that’s useful.
So, market share is a good thing to have, except when it comes to security.
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