These two operating systems are about the most popular in the mobile phone world and mobile phone users keep adopting these operating systems without any signs of the number reducing. These two operating systems are however different in a lot of ways, most especially the security threats they are both susceptible to and how they are able to prevent these security risks. It is a known fact that using a mobile device is not all that secure, and privacy is not guaranteed, but should choosing one over the other be a way to be safe?
The Threat Level
There are of course different types of forms of threats to these two platforms and over the years, iPhone and iPad users have enjoyed a fairly impenetrable defense from these threats. Android is a much easier target of this malware than iOS. Android is an open source operating system and this may have contributed to its high level of susceptibility to malware. Also, Apple has a tight leash on the kind of apps that make their way into its App Store which makes it impossible for dangerous files or apps to find your way into an apple device.
One other threat that needs to be considered is social engineering in which hackers employ more personal techniques to get data and information. Neither of these two platforms is immune to social engineering as any of them could be targeted.
Google continues to roll out different versions of the Android operating system year in year out as well as updates to the different versions. Phone manufacturers also work to keep up with the software releases in their devices, but the crux of the work is to the users of the OS. Most Android users do not bother upgrading their mobile devices to the latest version and this could cause a huge lapse in security as outdated operating systems are usually the targets of different malware, so it is very important to keep Android devices up to date.
Apple, on the other hand, does not have this kind of problem. Each iOS release is distributed to every one of its users and even when the OS is released, it is made to look like a very big deal which prompts a large number of upgrades. This way, a large percentage of iOS users already have up to date software on their devices, thus, leaving little or no room for any compromise in software security.
Integration of the hardware
How secure an Android device will be, is dependent on how compatible the OS will run on the hardware. There are various android security features, some of which not all Android manufacturers are good at integrating.
As much as it may seem like iOS is winning the battle in terms of security but it is nonetheless a fact that not everybody can use iOS and some people will always opt for android no matter what. There are security measures that are already in place on both platforms; while Apple is doing all the work for its users, Android users have to do the work themselves. Apple will not accept any app that does not meet its requirements into its app store and that is the most secure aspect of being an iOS user. Android, on the other hand, lets you download apps and give permission to those apps. These permissions can, however, be manually disabled in settings. After all, what is the point of sharing your contact information with some app developers except it is entirely necessary? Most users, of course, do not bother about this, but it is important.
One question most mobile device users (both android and iOS) keep asking is whether they should use an anti-virus or not. The thing is, running an antivirus is likely not necessary because of the default configurations and system architecture of these operating systems. It, however, does not hurt to run one as long as ensuring maximum security is the ultimate goal. Also, make sure the anti-virus actually works. Not some redundant app that does nothing but eat up the available memory on your mobile device.
CONCLUSION: Being safe as an android user
It is a known fact that android is pretty much open source and iOS is a lot more restricted and controlled. With the right safety precautions put in place, you can still use android and stay safe. For every application, you have to install and consequently give permission, make sure the apps are safe before you will allow them to have access to your messages, contacts, and social media accounts. Installing scanning apps would go a long way to prevent Trojan horses from finding a crack to get into your device. Much more preferably, try the free scanning apps. They work very well.