Despite the common belief that iOS is the most secure of all the smart phone operating systems, a study that compared the security of the top 50 free apps on both iOS and Android has suggested otherwise.
Cloud based app risk management solution Appthority took the 50 top free apps from Apple’s app store and Google Play and compared their security credentials against encryption, single sign on and location tracking amongst other features. The results surprisingly to some shown that iOS performed poorly compared to Android in nearly all aspects, despite many of the apps being duplicate for the alternative OS.
iOS performed most poorly when it came to sending or receiving data without encryption, with 100% of apps allowing this, compared to 92% of the Android apps tested.
The reason free apps were tested is they commonly collect more data that paid for apps. Developers can make revenue from free apps by selling or analysing data collected from the users of their free apps. 60% of the iOS apps shared user data with third party ad networks and analytic companies, 10% higher than Androids 50% sharing rate.
The most drastic differences between the two most popular operating systems were seen when it came to accessing personal data already stored on the device. iOS accessed and utilised a considerable amount more personal information from contacts, calendar entries and location services. 14% of the iOS apps accessed and synced information from calendars, none of the Android apps did this. Just over half of the iPhone apps accessed contact information, whereas Android a mere 20%. Location tracking data was collected by 60% of the iOS and 42% of Android apps.
The reason why Apple share more information than alternative providers is due to the premium companies are willing to pay for the data. iPhone users are known to spend more money than Android users, therefore advertising companies are willing to invest more in order to target the most likely consumer.
Although iOS has been proved to disclose and access more information than Android, the overall security in iOS is still a feature that gives it an advantage over Android and other smartphone operating systems. Android still falls fail to malware attacks, and this rate is increasing daily. It seems the option is either take the risk of personal information being stolen by malware or openly give it away with iOS…