Update your iDevices to iOS 10.3

Apple have just released the latest version of their iOS software bringing the version number to 10.3. iOS 10.3 is packed with important security updates as well as several new features.

iOS 10.3 is available for iPhone 5 and later, iPad 4th generation and later, and iPod touch 6th generation and later. Older devices are no longer supported by Apple, and should be replaced to ensure that you are able to patch any known vulnerabilities.  Vulnerabilities, left un-patched, can be exploited by an attacker, and could potentially allow access to personal files, or your device could be used for malicious activities.

10.3 patches many vulnerabilities, over many core services.

Safari and Webkit both have many important updates. Webkit is the browser engine used by many third-party apps on your device. These patches fix vulnerabilities that can lead to performance degradation by high memory consumption, arbitrary code execution which may allow an attacker to run malicious code on your device, and address bar spoofing which may allow an attacker to make a fake website appear to be legitimate.

Vulnerabilities have been patched to prevent attacker performing malicious activities by tricking a user into opening a malicious JPG, dfont, or PDF.

Updates have also been made to Kernel, to prevent apps running arbitrary code with kernel privileges. This prevents apps from being able to run malicious code.

Some other vulnerabilities require physical access to the device, and left un-patched, may leak private data such as Apple ID, info stored in the pasteboard, and pages viewed in Private Browsing. Updates have also been made to Siri to stop her revealing contents of a text message if the device is locked.

Other updates improve the stability of the device. More information can be found on the Apple Website.

iOS 10.3 introduces only several new features.

The major new features is the upgrade to a new file system. The new file system, APFS, was designed by Apple to help improve performance and storage management on their devices. This is especially handy for older, still supported, Apple devices.

I recommend backing up your devices before installing 10.3. If the upgrade fails during the file system upgrade, there is a good chance your data will be lost. I recommend doing all major upgrade via iTunes on your PC or Mac.

Another new feature is the ability to find your lost AirPods. AirPods are Apples new wireless headphones. Because AirPods are so small, it is inevitable you will misplace one or both at some stage. Find my AirPods works like the Find my iPhone and Find my iPad features already offered by Apple.

Other minor changes are a few user interface settings, the ability to see what devices are on your iCloud account easily from the settings menu, and developers get the ability to reply to app store reviews, or change App icons without an update being release.

I highly recommend install iOS 10.3 sooner, rather than later, to ensure your devices are kept secure.