Bad news: All a hacker needs is your phone number to infiltrate your Apple device if you haven't updated your software recently.
According to new reports from Cisco Talos,
the company discovered a bug that affects multimedia messages (such as
TIFF image files) and allows hackers to gain instant access to your
attacker starts by sending a message through a text, email or webpage
that contains a code. Then as soon as the message is received, the code
will execute, allowing the hacker to explore your device's storage and
saved passwords. And, no, avoiding clicking on the suspicious photo
won't prevent the code from working.
good news: You can protect your device pretty easily — just install the
latest software update. Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist of the Good Housekeeping Institute,
explains that these updates are designed to improve known performance,
stability or security issues like this one. And being lazy about keeping
up with updates just exposes you even more to danger: "Once a software
update is pushed, it makes the machines even more vulnerable to hackers
if you don't update, since the issue is now in public domain."
To update your phone, go to Settings > General > Software Update, then tap "Download" and "Install."
And to update your desktop or laptop OS, click on the "Apple" menu and select "Software Update."
That's it. Now you won't have to hold your breath every time you receive a text or turn on your laptop.