If you have not yet updated your Apple iPhone to iOS 9.3.5, recent reporting indicates it is critically important that you do.
According to The New York Times, iOS 9.3.5 fixes critical security flaws discovered within the Apple mobile operating system.
"Investigators discovered that a company called the NSO Group, an Israeli outfit that sells software that invisibly tracks a target's mobile phone, was responsible for the intrusions," the New York Times reported. "The NSO Group's software can read text messages and emails and track calls and contacts. It can even record sounds, collect passwords and trace the whereabouts of the phone user."
The newspaper added that Apple released the iOS 9.3.5 update on Thursday (Aug. 25) after the Israeli hack of its previous operating system was discovered.
"Yes, it's painful, but you may need to take the time to back up or sift through less-used apps and photos to make room."
"In interviews and manuals, the NSO Group's executives have long boasted that their spyware worked like a 'ghost,' tracking the moves and keystrokes of its targets, without leaving a trace. But until this month, it was not clear how exactly the group was monitoring its targets, or who exactly it was monitoring."
According to reporting by The Next Web, it is possible for iOS users to become beta testers for Apple and skip the iOS 9.3.5 update altogether. First, it suggests backing up your iPhone device so you do not lose any potentially important information or files during the upgrade to iOS 10 Beta. Then it suggests the following steps.
"1. Go to beta.apple.com on the iPhone or iPad you plan to upgrade. 2. Tap Sign up (or Sign in if you've registered previously). 3. Enter your Apple ID and password. 4. Click Sign in. 5. Accept the terms and conditions (or, you know, read and accept them if you're into that sort of thing)."
There are a slew of other features in the iOS 10 Beta (which does not yet have a date for a non-beta release), but with likely bugs, there is no way to know if it is worth skipping the iOS 9.3.5 update and taking the plunge for the iOS 10 Beta.
One thing is for certain. If you spend any time waiting to get the iOS 9.3.5 update, you are literally putting yourself and your data at risk. When the popup comes up on your iPhone suggesting you do the edit, The New York Times and just about every technology company suggests you go ahead and do the upgrade. You cannot afford not to.
[Photo by Cole Bennetts/Getty Images]