Apple’s Latest Security Scare Forces Unwanted Upgrade to iOS 7

Well I was finally forced to upgrade my Apple mobile devices to iOS 7. As of December 2013, 74% of the iOS App store users were on iOS 7. I was one of the hold outs.

I didn’t upgrade because I thought installing iOS 7 would slow down my iPhone 4s and iPad 2, and quickly zap the life of the batteries. Additionally, when you upgrade to iOS 7, there’s no rolling back to iOS 6. And as much as I love using the latest tech, sometimes my mantra is, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

I upgraded because of a vulnerability recently found in the iOS’s security. To use Apple’s technical terms, “An attacker with a privileged network position may capture or modify data in sessions protected by SSL/TLS.” Additionally, the iOS’s, “Secure Transport failed to validate the authenticity of the connection. This issue was addressed by restoring missing validation steps.”

What this means in English is, according to security tech firm Crowdstrike, a hacker using the same wireless or wired network as you, can bypass your phone’s security verification protocols and appear as a trusted service such as a webmail provider. They can then intercept or modify data being transmitted between your phone and its intended destination. So, yes, this security patch is a critical one to be installed quickly.

My question was, can I install the security patch without having to upgrade to iOS 7. The little red notification dot on my iOS devices’ Settings icon had been indicating the iOS 7 update was ready for download for months. But when this security patch became available, I didn’t see a separate notice in the update area just for iOS 6 users.

I did upgrade my iPhone without too much griping a few days ago because I plan on upgrading to the iPhone 6 later this year, and I can deal with my 4s being slow until then. Additionally, I couldn’t get the latest updates for certain apps and the system had started acting buggy lately.

But I didn’t want to update my iPad 2, it worked fine as it was. However after searching around it became clear that the iOS 6.1.6 security update was only available for the iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation). More current devices were stuck with updating to iOS 7.

It would have been nice if Apple had provided a way for people to manually download the iOS 6.1.6 and install it. They know there are people with earlier versions that don’t want to update to iOS 7.

Apple should be more like Microsoft which puts out security patches for multiple versions. Come April 8, Microsoft will end its support for Windows XP. That’s 12 years of simultaneously providing security patches for XP and the newer Windows releases.

It’s not that I don’t want to change or use the latest tech, it’s just that I don’t like being strong armed in to using it. It’s like Google +,  Google’s constantly pushing people to use it. My YouTube experience has become less enjoyable since it’s been integrated with Google+. The problem with this approach is that it’s a big turn off for users.

Apple runs the risk of turning off its customers by not being flexible in how its updates can be installed. But it is what it is. I’ll get used to it, but a choice would have been nice, Apple.

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