Living in a digital world can be frightening with all of the cybercriminals out there. Data breaches, phishing attacks, and ransomware are just a few things that we always need to be on the lookout for.
Having your gadget impacted by a scammer is bad enough on its own. We definitely don't need people who we know messing with them.
That's exactly what could happen with this newly discovered Apple flaw.
How pranksters can crash your iPhone
A bug was recently discovered by an Italian blogger in iOS 11 that can be exploited by anyone who wants to crash your iPhone. All the prankster needs to do is create a text message with a specific character.
That's where the jokester really needs to put in some effort. The character that causes the problem is from the Indian language (Telugu). It looks like this:
Image: Character from Indian language Telugu causing iOS problems. (Source: Mobileworld)
The researcher who discovered the flaw has not released the name of the character to try and prevent others from using it to crash people's gadget.
If you were to receive this character as a text message, it could freeze apps on your phone including iMessages. It could also crash the entire operating system altogether.
Other apps that could potentially freeze from receiving this character are WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, Outlook for iOS, and Gmail. If the character is displayed within any of these apps, the app will crash and continue to crash each time that you try to open it.
There is a public beta version of iOS 11.3 and this flaw is not found in it. Meaning, once iOS 11.3 is officially released this bug will no longer be a problem.
How to stop your gadget from crashing
I've never really understood why people would send malicious texts like this. I guess they think it's a funny prank, but there's nothing funny about it. In fact, it's pretty annoying.
The good news is, getting rid of the problem is actually pretty simple. All you need to do is delete the Message thread that contains the link. That should stop the app from crashing.
If your Messages app is frozen you might not be able to delete the thread. If so, force close the iMessages app and then re-open it to delete the thread.
Do you know how to force close Apple apps? You may do this so often that you don't even think about it.
On most iPhones, you start by double-clicking the Home button. That will show you the apps you most recently used.
Then you find the app you want to close by swiping right or left. Swipe up on an app to force it closed.
Once iOS 11.3 is released, this flaw will be eliminated. Keep reading to learn how to update your iOS.
Updating iOS on an iPhone
Go to your "Settings" app and select "General." From there, select "Software Update" and your device will begin to check for updates. Then select "Download and Install" to get the latest version.
To get the update from iTunes, connect your device to a computer, open iTunes, and select your device from the menu in your iTunes Library. Select "Summary" and then click on "Check for Update." Finally, select "Download and Update" and wait for the update to sync to your device.
Have a question about this iOS flaw or any other tech issues? Kim has your answer! Click here to send Kim a question, she may use it and answer it on her radio show.
In other news, do you still need to "close" apps?
Whether you're using an Apple iPhone or Google's Android operating system, you probably spend time closing apps. You may think it improves the performance of your smartphone or tablet or saves battery life. But does it?