If you received a notification to update to a new version of Apple’s iOS, I’d suggest downloading it ASAP. The latest iteration fixes a security issue for both the iPhone and iPad.
According to the company’s security support site, the update specifically impacts Webkit — a browser engine that’s developed by Apple and used in Safari (along with other iOS web browsers). It lists the impact of the security exploits as “processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to universal cross-site scripting.”
Basically, it leaves your Apple device vulnerable to hacks regardless of whether you’re using Safari or other third-party browsers. And considering that Apple noted on its support site that it’s “aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” (keyword: actively), you shouldn’t hold off updating.
The latest versions are listed as iOS 14.4.2 (for the iPhone) and iPadOS 14.4.2 (for iPad). As for which devices are compatible, Apple lists the following on its support site:
- iPhone 6s and later
- iPad Pro (all models)
- iPad Air 2 and later
- iPad 5th generation and later
- iPad mini 4 and later
- iPod touch (7th generation)
If you own an older device, Apple also pushed iOS 12.5.2 to prevent the issue. And, those with an Apple Watch (Series 3 or later) should also update to the latest watchOS version 7.3.3.
If you don’t already have Automatic Updates installed on your devices, updating to the latest OS is simple. Go to Settings > General > Software Update and follow the directions to download and install. I promise the entire process only takes a few minutes.
UPDATE: March 27, 2021, 5:53 p.m. EDT An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed the update number as 14.2.2. It’s actually 14.4.2. We regret the error and apologize for any confusion.