Apple users feel their data is safer than others, but only 44 per cent use, or are considering using, a virtual private network (VPN).
Research research by F-Secure believes this can leave them vulnerable to privacy breaches and malware attacks.
With the launch of the new iPhone, F-Secure recommends Apple users adopt VPN technology to take control of their data privacy.
“Research paints a picture of Apple users as being more active on their mobile devices, but they may be unaware of the online risks they are taking,” says Jonathan Banks, Director of Operations A/NZ, F-Secure.
“However, they’re also more open to adopting technologies that let them manage those risks. It is vital that Apple users are aware of both the risks to their online privacy and the solutions available.”
Banks believes Apple users should consider three questions in relation to data privacy:
1. Is your device secure?
F-Secure’s research shows that 77 per cent people in the Apple community believe they are safer online than those who use other brands.
However, there have been many cases of successful attacks on Apple iOS and OS X operating systems, like WireLurker and Masque Attack malware.
“Apple users must understand their devices do not automatically protect them from online threats, and take steps to secure their data,” Banks adds.
“A VPN is a really useful tool which creates encrypted Internet connections to protect data and notify the user when they access a website that might have malware or suspicious tracker activity.”
2. Do you use mobile devices to make financial transactions?
In addition, 46 per cent of Apple respondents said they used mobile devices to make most of their financial transactions, compared to just 14 percent of non-Apple respondents.
“The perception that Apple users are automatically protected from online risks is perhaps why they're more active when it comes to making financial transactions from their mobile devices,” Banks adds.
“Users have to manage the risks with adequate protection.”
3. Do you use public Wi-Fi?
Also, 56 per cent of Apple respondents said they connect to public Wi-Fi more than once a week, compared to 29 per cent of non-Apple respondents.
“Public Wi-Fi connections can have many risks,” Banks adds. “A VPN will protect your data from hackers sharing the same connection.”