As many of us know, Apple Computer does a pretty good job of controlling the security features of their two main operating systems, Apple IOS for iPhones and iPads, and Apple OS X for most Mac computers.. They do such a good job that most people don't have any special security software installed on their machines and devices. But, they are NOT perfect.
Recently, what's turned out to be a major security hole has occurred in both Apple operating systems. I'll let others discuss the details of the security flaw, what the potential issues are, and whether the NSA had anything to do with it. (You gotta love all the speculation in the media!) Here is what to do:
Actually it's pretty simple: Update your IOS device or OS X computer. NOW! Updates are available from Apple for every one of their devices. Don't forget to update your Apple TV too if you own one. When I did our IOS and OS X updates, they took me between 10 and 20 minutes each depending on the age of the Apple device or computer. It's like most Apple updates...check for Software Updates in SETUP, click on Install, and wait till the download is completed and installed. The device or computer will automatically restart.
If for some reason, you can't perform the update right now, don't use the Safari web browser to access any secure website like a bank, credit card company, Paypal, etc. Use Chrome, Firefox or any other browser. They are OK.
Is this a big deal? Personally, I don't think so because most of the "bad guys" don't target Apple computers. There are much bigger and easier targets out there. So the exploits to take advantage of the security hole aren't very numerous. But now that this Apple security issue is all over the Internet, the best course of action is to get the update done as quickly as possible.
Of course, if you need any assistance in doing your update, or talk about computer security, give The Computing Center a call. We work on security all the time, from these individual device updates all the way to extensive system and network security analysis, monitoring and management.