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Security & privacy

Update your iPhone now! Apple finally fixes FaceTime security flaw with iOS 12.1.4

Last week, the big news was a security flaw in Apple’s FaceTime that can turn an iPhone, iPad or a Mac into a discreet spying tool.

With the critical bug, you can initiate FaceTime with another party by adding your own number and immediately hear their phone’s microphone audio (and even receive video) before they’ve even accepted or rejected the call.

The flaw, stumbled upon by a teenager in Arizona, quickly went viral, prompting Apple to turn off Group FaceTime on the server side to temporarily prevent the exploit.

To permanently fix the issue, Apple was supposed to deliver a patch last week with a software update but delayed it at the last minute for undisclosed reasons.

But as the saying goes, it’s better late than never – Apple just released iOS 12.1.4 for iPhones and iPads, the update that should put the Group FaceTime bug to rest. Should you update immediately or wait?

iOS 12.1.4 is finally out

Apply finally rolled out iOS 12.1.4, the update that has the promised patch for the critical Group FaceTime bug publicly revealed last week.

According to Apple’s security content for iOS 12.1.4, the flaw was caused by “a logic issue” that affected the handling of Group FaceTime calls.

The company addressed the issue with “improved state management” on iOS 12.1.4.

Aside from FaceTime, other fixes for other iOS bugs are also packaged in the update including a security issue with Live Photos (uncovered by the recent FaceTime security audit), a memory corruption issues in IOKit and Foundation.

As usual, iOS 12.1.4 is available for iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and later, and iPod touch 6th generation.

Since this is a serious security issue and Apple has reenabled Group FaceTime again, it’s recommended that you update your iPhone or iPad right away.

Note: Macs are also vulnerable to the Group FaceTime bug and Apple also released a fix with macOS Mojave 10.4.3. If you own an Apple computer, please update as soon as you can too.

How to update your iOS gadget

Note: Make sure you have enough free storage space on your iPhone or iPad. Here are quick ways to clear space on your iOS gadget.

Over the air on your iPhone or iPad

1. To get the update for your iPhone or iPad, go into your “Settings” app and select “General.”

2. From there, select “Software Update” and your phone will begin to check for updates.

3. If available, select “Download and Install” to get iOS 12.1.4 on your phone. Note: You will have to enter your passcode on your gadget to proceed with the update.

Update from iTunes

1. To get the update from iTunes, connect your device to a computer, open iTunes on your computer

2. Select your device from the iTunes menu

3. Select “Summary” and then select “Check for Update

4.  If an update is available, choose “Download and Update” and wait for the update to sync to your device. Note: You will have to enter your passcode on your gadget to proceed with the update

How to update your Mac

To get macOS updatesclick the Apple icon on the taskbar (top-left corner of your screen), then click “About This Mac” then click “Software Update” on the window that appears.

Alternatively, you can use the Updates pane of the Mac App Store to check for the latest Mac software updates.

Back up your iOS gadget first!

Before any update, it is highly recommended that you perform a full backup of your gadget first before upgrading.

Although you can use iCloud to backup your files, space is limited. For larger backups, we advise that you backup your iPhone via iTunes if you have a computer available. Tap or click here to learn how to back up your iPhone.

Bonus: We recommend our sponsor, IDrive, for fast and reliable cloud backups. Back up all of your gadgets and save 50% on all your backup needs and get 2TB of storage for less than $35! App background

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