Own an old iPhone? Apple is urging you to update it now

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 16: A visitor tries out an Apple iPhone 7 on the first day of sales of the new phone at the Berlin Apple store on September 16, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. The new phone comes in two sizes, one with a 4.7 inch display, the other with a 5.5 inch display. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Older iPhones are still receiving security updates even if they no longer get the latest iOS update (Getty)

Apple has a firmly established product lifestyle for its various iPhone models.

But even though older devices may not benefit from fresh new operating system upgrades – they still get security support.

Apple is among the best companies for supporting older devices and the tech giant has recently released the iOS 12.5.4 security update.

That means anyone using an iPhone 5s, 6, 6 Plus or iPad Air should download this update, which fixes three vulnerabilities that could lead to memory corruption.

‘This update provides important security updates and is recommended for all users,’ Apple said in the release notes for the iOS 12.5.4 update.

The above devices were released around late 2013 and 2014, making them six or seven years old. That’s an eternity in the hyper-fast consumer tech market.

Apple says the update fixes a ‘maliciously crafted certificate’ and two WebKit vulnerabilities.

WebKit is the browser engine used by Safari (and other iOS apps) and in this particular case, the flagged vulnerability could let hackers into a device.

If a user went to a fake page created by cybercriminals, the vulnerability would allow them to execute malicious code in the background and gain access to the device.

Apple says it’s aware of this process being used in the wild.

‘Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,’ the company said in its release notes.

A fan of the United States takes a picture with her IPhone
Failing to update older devices could leave them vulnerable to hackers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Supporting older devices is a pressing concern as people are holding onto their gadgets for much longer.

According to a report by DeviceAtlas, about eight per cent of iPhone users (as of 2020) were still using iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus handsets.

If you do use one of the above Apple handsets, you can automatically install the update when prompted, or install it manually.

To do so, tap on Settings > General > Software Update to download and install it.

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