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Apple Releases Crucial Security Updates for Mavericks and iOS 7

Otherwise known as “‘Bout time! Patch those OS’s, people!” Last Friday, Apple released an update for iOS 7, and then followed with an update for OS 10.9 Mavericks this week. Both address critical vulnerabilities that the operating systems had, not the least of which included the potential for hackers to access encrypted data (meaning they could potentially grab usernames, passwords, location data and more).

iOS 7.0.6 Update
It was largely kept under wraps, but many have speculated that the security flaw in iOS 7 was one of the largest in Apple history. iPod touch, iPad and iPhone users were vulnerable to hacking via the installed mobile browser(s) — Safari et al. However, as these issues became known, Apple acted quickly, and the release fixes the outlying problem.

If you’re running iOS 7 and you haven’t updated yet, please do so now.

Either plug in your device and update via iTunes, or navigate to your Settings app (you may have noticed that red number badge — don’t ignore that bad boy!) and tap Software Update. Click “Download to Install”, agree to the Terms, and start downloading. Note: I recommend plugging in as a preferred method so that you can back up your data before updating!

OS 10.9.2 Mavericks Update
Mavericks was found to have the same security flaws, as well as bugs within Mail and Calendar that Apple wanted to address. The update primarily “prevents the validation of encryption certificates from supposedly secure servers” so you’ll want to make sure you update immediately. Additionally, the security fixes affect Mail, Calendar, iCloud and other apps on your Mac.

If you’re running Mavericks, do this update immediately after you run a backup!

Among other things, this update:

  • Adds the ability to make FaceTime audio calls
  • Fixes and issue that may cause VPN to disconnect
  • Improves Autofill compatibility
  • Resolves a Mail issue that prevented new messages from certain providers
  • Improves accuracy of unread counts in Mail

For the whole list, click here.
For detailed info about the security content, click here.

It’s important to note that this update is fairly substantial in size and what it covers, so definitely back up your important data first. Mail will re-index once the update is installed, but that should finish quickly enough (I have a loooot of mail — tens of thousands across seven accounts — and it indexed in about 3 minutes, so it’s not too bad).

On both my Macs, I had to manually run Software Update — it didn’t appear in the list right away. Under the Apple menu, select Software Update, and it should then pop up in the list of available updates. There is also an iTunes update available that you’ll want to run that fixes app crashing problems.

Additional Sources: NY Times, Engadget

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