Apple has just released a minor update to iOS and iPadOS to patch up a vulnerability in Safari. Well, technically, any app that uses WebKit to browse the internet, which includes all web browsers. Download iOS 15.3.1 now if you want to be protected.
Although grabbing this latest release won’t bag you any new features, these security-based updates shouldn’t be ignored. It’s hard to know exactly how serious this particular flaw is, and how likely you are to suffer as a result of it, but Apple says keeping up to date is “one of the most important things you can do to maintain your Apple product’s security.”
Apple also makes a point of not disclosing the details of security vulnerabilities, lest it give bad actors ideas on where to dig for weak spots in iOS. But we do know the broad strokes of the issue: the security notes state the WebKit issue means that “processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution.” In layman’s terms, this means that dodgy websites may be able to hack your device to run whatever code they want. Not good.
Luckily, it’s an easy fix, so long as you update. To do so, open the Settings app and choose General > Software Update. It’s a relatively small update so shouldn’t take long.
iOS 15.3.1 also fixes an issue with Braille displays, so if that’s a function you use, this will be an essential update.
Apple’s next software release is likely to be iOS 15.4, which is already in beta. Unlike the last couple of updates, this one promises plenty of new capabilities, including the long-awaited Universal Control feature and the ability to use Face ID while wearing a mask.