iOS vs. Android smartphone security: A detailed 2023 comparison

Tiziana Piatos Last updated: January 17, 2023 Read time: 12 minutes Disclosure

If you wonder about the security capabilities of iOS vs. Android smartphones, this detailed guide tells you everything you must know.

Sneak peek at iOS vs. Android security

Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are today’s two dominant smartphone operating systems. Both have their own specified user base, making them co-exist in the market. While iOS has long boasted about its matchless security, Android ruled the realm for its user-friendliness and accessibility worldwide. But iOS and Android have recently improved their innate OS security to combat modern cyber threats. Therefore, as the end user, you should know the difference between iOS vs. Android smartphone security features to choose better.

Everyone values mobile phone security, regardless of whether their smartphone is Android or iOS. Of course, protecting every piece of information on your smartphone is pivotal to avoiding the risk of cyber threats and malware, especially as technology advances. Thus, you should be aware of the level of security your smartphone provides.

iOS and Android smartphones have various security measures to protect your data from cyber threats. However, these measures have their strengths and weaknesses. So, if you’re wondering which device is more secure, this article compares iOS vs. Android smartphone security to help you decide which device is best for you.

In addition, you will get answers to the threat levels of both devices and what they have in common. Continue reading to see how iOS and Android smartphones compare regarding security features.

What are the similarities between iOS and Android security?

The similarities between iOS and Android smartphones include their built-in security features. For example, they have virtual sandboxes that minimize the damage that malware apps can cause. Another feature is drive encryption, which comes with iOS, but Android users must enable it. 

Both operating systems fully support VPN encryption, which is essential for smartphones. Some VPN services that protect your online identity include NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark.

Face ID and fingerprint recognition are also available on iOS and Android smartphones. These similarities provide security and reduce the risk of threats. 

Common threats to iOS and Android smartphones

With the advancement of technology, we now have most of our information on our smartphones, from wallets to home security systems. However, this puts us at risk. Hence, knowing the most common threats to your iOS or Android device can help you be more security conscious.

Below are common threats to iOS and Android smartphones.

  • Malware: Mobile spyware, ransomware, and banking trojans are all part of malware. Adware and viruses are also examples of this threat. They disrupt your smartphone’s balance by exposing your private information, infecting your device, and blocking information accessibility.
  • Data Breach: A data breach happens when someone steals information from a system without the owner’s knowledge or approval. Hackers can breach data on your smartphone by reusing the same password to gain access to private information through unsecured WiFi.
  • Cyber Scam: Phishing is a type of cyber scam in which scammers use messaging apps to send phishing attacks to unsuspecting victims. The QR code scam is another type of cyber scam in which scammers trick victims into scanning harmful QR codes, which can reveal your login details and other private information.

iOS vs. Android: Source code security

Comparing iOS vs. Android systems reveals that they address source code security differently. For example, they use restrictions in different ways to protect users from data breaches and viruses. However, there is room for improvement.

Below is a detailed breakdown of how iPhone and Android smartphones address source code security.

iOS

Apple uses a system that employs secure code execution for security. Using an integrated development environment (IDE), it provides code signing for your applications.

In addition, because iOS is a closed-source operating system, developers cannot copy, modify, or manipulate the code. Although, since the iOS source code is not subject to criticism, the developers may release a version with a security flaw, which attackers may have exploited before detection. And consequently, you cannot change the security settings to protect your iPhone data if you cannot manipulate the code.

But, with this source code security, hackers may also find it difficult to access your smartphone and exploit the potential flaws.

Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean hacking iOS devices is impossible. For example, if you do not use the App Store, you may download a malicious link through email or various websites, which Apple may not protect.