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Mobile Security: Android vs. iOS – Which One Is Safer?

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The Android operating system and iOS are the two leading smartphone platforms in the industry today. Android is more popular than iOS and has more smartphones running on it, which is both an advantage and a disadvantage.

Meanwhile, there has always been a debate on which of the two operating systems is more secure. In this article, we will explore the platforms’ threat levels and security strengths and weaknesses to decide which one is safer.

Operating System Threat Level: Android vs. iOS

For some, iOS is more secure than Android, particularly because the former is a closed system. For instance, Apple doesn’t give out its source code to app developers and even iOS users cannot modify it by themselves. Thus, there are fewer vulnerabilities within the system and it is harder for hackers and cyber-thieves to access information.

On the other hand, Android operates on an open-source code, meaning anyone can alter the operating system l;ike when you are playing on That is why it is not uncommon to find Android users tinkering with their smartphone’s operating system.

The problem, however, is that too much alteration and tampering in the OS can cause a weakness in its security. Also, when the manufacturers themselves release a new Android smartphone with a modified operating system, they make it easier for hackers to find it.

Nevertheless, this alone does not indicate which of the operating systems has better security. Although it would seem that iOS is more secure, cybercriminals can still access devices on it with malicious software. That means Android users are not the only ones that need to be aware and careful of possible malware and viruses. 

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iOS vs. Android: Security Strengths and Weaknesses

The security level of iOS and Android has its strengths and weaknesses, which we have listed below.

The iOS

Apple has always been about security, which means it has more strengths than weaknesses, and the weaknesses aren’t severe. Still, there are some cybercriminal exploits that even secure iOS is not immune to.

Below are the most prominent strengths and weaknesses of iOS.


  • iOS has frequently scheduled security updates – that is, Apple keeps looking for and patching over its security vulnerabilities.
  • The operating system runs on a closed source code, which makes it harder for cyber-thieves to find those vulnerabilities at all.
  • The iOS has a secure app store in that it has only one App Store where Apple can better vet content.
  • The newest iPhones have access to the latest security updates.


  • Apple’s closed source code, though a strength, is also a weakness in that it is difficult for users to spot and report vulnerabilities.
  • The most recent iOS updates have more serious vulnerabilities than the past ones.
  • iOS has a smaller user base, which means it gets less user feedback.


Android is the most popular operating system for mobile phones, which means it has a higher potential for security threats. However, its popularity also means it has a larger user base and gets more feedback for security optimization than iOS.

Below we have examined some of the strengths and weaknesses of Android.


  • Android operates on an open-source code, meaning it is much easier for users to spot and report vulnerabilities within the system.
  • The operating system has a wide range of third-party security app support options.
  • Since it is the most popular operating system for mobile phones, Android has a much larger user feedback pool.
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  • Android’s open-source code is also a weakness because it makes it easier for malicious hackers to exploit its vulnerabilities.
  • Android has fewer updates as devices only guarantee two years of updates.
  • The operating system has multiple app marketplaces, each one vetting differently and making it easier for malicious developers to publish their apps.

How to Keep Your Android and iOS Safe

Whether you are using Android or iOS, there are measures you can take to keep your device safe. Below are some safety tips to be proactive and keep your data secure on your iOS or Android device.

For iOS Users:

  • Protect your phone by using an ad blocker; this can also enhance your browsing experience.
  • A four-digit passcode may not be enough to keep your data safe; use at least six digits to make it stronger.
  • Don’t allow the location tracking for every application that requests it; if you must allow it, let the app ask whenever it needs it.
  • Enable two-factor authentication, especially for apps with sensitive information.

For Android Users:

  • Stick to Google Chrome when browsing and enable enhanced protection in your settings so that Chrome can warn you about dangerous sites.
  • Don’t give permissions to apps you don’t trust; check your privacy settings to ensure no app has invasive permissions.
  • Always update whenever possible to keep your data out of harm’s way.
  • Use antivirus software to protect your phone from data thievery and malware.


Smartphone users use their devices for various online transactions and activities, thus reinforcing the need for maximum security. However, these two operating systems are targets for cyber-thieves who want to get their hands on users’ personal information. Both operating systems have their strengths and weaknesses, thus it is up to you, the user, to take measures and protect yourself.

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