By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
During the past few months, millions of mobile users and die-hard Apple fans eagerly await the announcement of the iPhone 6. Apple’s loyal iPhone fans, after all, have long awaited a device with a bigger screen, a better mobile camera, access to a contactless payment technology, and much more. After much ado, the hot new phone was revealed this week by Apple CEO Tim Cook, and it could be a game-changer for the company.
For three years in a row, Apple reigned as the world’s most valuable brand, according to Business Insider. This past year, under the direction of Cook, the company slid to second place behind Google. Critics blamed Apple’s fall from grace on stagnating innovation and prior setbacks like the iPhone 4’s notorious technical issues and the outright failure of the iPhone 5c.
Cook is exuberant over his company’s new product. “You can scream if from the rooftops,” he recently crowed to the Wall Street Journal. “Innovation is alive and well at Apple.” In the coming weeks, purchasers of the new iPhone 6 will get a chance to experience this innovation firsthand. Following is a brief breakdown of the highlights and security features that come with the phone, and a short explanation of how Hotspot Shield’s recently updated app can help to make these new phones even more secure.
What You’ll Get With the iPhone 6
Apple’s new brainchild actually comes in two versions: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 Plus features more bells and whistles, but both products offer vast improvements over earlier models:
- Screen: The iPhone 6 measures 4.7 inches diagonally; the Plus model measures even larger at 5.5 inches.
- Pixels: The iPhone 6 screen promises more clarity than a 720p display; the Plus model achieves the clarity of a 1080p display.
- Near Field Communication (NFC): Both models come equipped with an NFC antenna that lets users make purchases using Apple Pay. Some experts predict that Apple Pay’s “one touch checkout” will revolutionize the mobile wallet.
- Camera: Apple boasts that the iPhone 6 camera is its most sophisticated photography device to date. It’s called the iSight camera, and it brings eight megapixels and the ability to take “burst selfies” to the table.
- Wi-Fi: Both models feature faster Wi-Fi than ever before on iOS. Users who subscribe to either T-Mobile or the U.K.’s Everything Everywhere (EE) network will be able to make calls over any Wi-Fi connection.
- Operating System: The iPhone 6 will use iOS 8, Apple’s newest operating system. The company promises massive app improvements with this system, which will be available for download on September 17.
iOS 8 Security Features
Improved iOS 8 security features will directly impact iPhone 6 users. The operating system’s list of highly anticipated features includes the following:
- MAC Address Randomization: When an iOS 8 device scans for Wi-Fi access, it will do so by generating randomized MAC addresses instead of real MAC addresses. This privacy feature will prevent outside parties, like data-hungry retailers, from latching onto a consumer’s device and “following” it.
- Location Privacy Option: iOS 8 users will be able to decide which apps have access to their location information using the “WhenInUse” option. According to Apple, this option will grant iOS 8 users “complete control” over who—if anyone—gets to know their whereabouts.
- Touch ID: Apple’s fingerprint-recognition ability, called “Touch ID,” comes part and parcel with the iPhone 6. Its major function for the phone will be to enable Apple Pay. Apple Pay enhances user security by concealing financial transaction details from everyone but the phone user and the bank. Merchants, including cashiers, won’t be able to see a customer’s name, credit card number, PIN, or any other identifier that could potentially lead to fraud.
- Mail Encryption: Encryption software adds an extra layer of protection to private email, making it harder for hackers to infringe on users’ privacy. iOS 8 devices, including the iPhone 6, are S/MIME-enabled, which means that business leaders can encrypt their emails on an as-needed basis.
- Passcodes: Every iOS device comes with its own unique passcode encrypted in the hardware. iOS 7 extended passcode protection to its Mail app; iOS 8 stretches this capability even further. Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, Notes, and Messages apps can all be secured with a passcode if the user so desires.
Protecting Your iOS 8 Device With Hotspot Shield’s VPN
In spite of all the wonderful security features found in iOS 8, critics worry that Apple’s potential attack surface will broaden due to massive increases in the technology’s inter-app communication system. iPhone 6 users won’t be immune to these potential attacks, especially if they use public networks. And really, what mobile user doesn’t take advantage of public Wi-Fi these days?
Fortunately, our recently updated Hotspot Shield VPN for iPhone app (which supports iOS 8 devices) can counteract the many various threats that hackers potentially pose. Available for free download at the App Store, our VPN app protects your device by creating an unbreakable tunnel between user devices and the Internet with banking-level HTTPS protection.
App users enjoy other benefits as well. With Hotspot Shield, you can bypass location-based IP blocks and enjoy any site on the Internet at any time. You also save money on data charges because the app compresses web content, allowing you to download up to twice as much information for the same base price.
Stay Secure on iPhone 6
When all is said and done, the iPhone 6 appears to be an excellent buy for consumers seeking a cutting-edge, high-end smartphone. Even so, security experts all agree on the fact that all mobile phones come with security threats. This problem is especially true for people who like to roam and often take advantage of free Wi-Fi.
We urge you to lay any security fears you might have to rest. Hotspot Shield will pick up the slack by locking hackers and malware out of your iPhone 6 and other iOS 8 devices. The app is free and ready for your use; all you have to do is install it. Once the app is on your phone, you won’t even have to think about it anymore. It’s your security, and it’s that simple.