Android vs ios security

Android vs. iOS Security – The Great Debate

When we go to a mobile store, the things that brim our mind are the features, functionality, storage or the look and feel of the device. But, rarely do we ever consider the security aspect. Do, we?

It is imperative that we should give due attention to security as well. After all, we dump a high volume of data on our smart devices day in and day out, and it is our responsibility to ensure that it is kept safe and secure against cyber threats.

When it comes to security, it is also important to understand that the first line of defense against cyber threats is the operating systems itself. If the OS’s security is robust, it will make it difficult for hackers to carry out successful hacking attempts, and vice versa.

The current mobile industry is dominated by two OS: Apple iOS and Google Android.

If you are a security-conscious user, you would probably be interested in comparing the security aspect of both the operating systems and finding out which OS prevails. Wouldn’t you?

Android vs. iOS Security Differences

In the following blog, we will measure the security of the two operating systems across different areas. Read on to learn more.

Google Play Store vs. the Apple Store

Currently, Android OS has a massive market share of 74.15%, whereas iOS’s share stands at 23.28% only.

Likewise, if you talk about the size of the app store of both the operating systems, Google Play Store boasts a considerably large amount of apps than Apple Store. In fact, over 1.5 million apps are released on Google Play Store every year, while iOS rarely gets to touch the 1 million mark.

Though big numbers might be a blessing for Android, it also poses a serious security threat. After all, cybercriminals want to target a big number so that they can get hold of more data. Moreover, there’s more chance of coming across a malicious app on the Play Store than the Apple Store.

When it comes to ensuring secure offering, Apple Store is more efficient than the Play Store. Android states that it has made considerable efforts in filtering out malicious apps from its official store. However, iOS has been doing it since the beginning, keeping a tight leash on every app in its store.

Unlike the Android store, Apple has a strict policy when it comes to reviewing apps and making it sure that they offer only secure apps.

Open-Source vs. Closed-Source

Android is an open-source operating system, while iOS is a closed-source application or you may also say a proprietary system.

Open-source means that the source code of the operating system is open to anyone who wants to modify the code and create a custom OS out of it. Though the open-source nature makes the Android more flexible and versatile, it also creates security holes and vulnerabilities.

For instance on Android, if you toggle off the option of installing apps from unknown sources, the OS would immediately allow you to install and download any third-party APK files.

If we compare it with the closed-source iOS operating system, you will find it more secure in this regard. Though iOS also has some open-source components, the major part of the OS is completely closed source. The closed-source nature of the OS makes it impossible for users to download or even install the app unless the user resorts to jailbreaking which is a fairly hectic process.

Android Sandboxing vs. iOS Sandboxing

The iOS and Android operating systems have a mechanism which is called Sandboxing. Well, it is not exactly a mechanism but a secure environment, restricting applications to go beyond the fence and interact with any other application or the firmware itself.

As part of the mechanism, the OS installs every application in a separate sandbox that lodges not only the app but also its data. Regardless, iOS sandboxing mechanism is more secure and efficient than Android.

The Android app has powerful permissions, but iOS apps have limited permissions. In other words, unlike the iOS app, Android apps may ask for permissions that would allow it to interact with other components or features of the device.

Is iOS better than Android in terms of Security?

Though Android has started curbing the malicious apps from its official store and it has also upped its security game, iOS is still by far the most secured OS.

iOS has a great sandboxing mechanism. New apps have to go through stringent requirements to make room in the app store. The closed-source nature discourages users from downloading malicious apps.

Regardless of what mobile OS you use, you can always rely on PureVPN to keep your data secure. We offer compatible applications for both iOS and Android. Plus, the added security features will keep you protected against different cyber threats.

An information security analyst in the making, a father of an adorable kid and a technology writer (Contributor). He can be found lurking around top network security blogs, looking for scoops on information security and privacy trends.

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