View Full Version : Is The iOS on iPad Safe On Line?

02-02-2017, 09:25 PM
Hi All!
My wife has a 2006 MacBook Pro that can't be upgraded past OS X 10.6.8. The OS, Safari and most other browsers and applications are no longer receiving security updates, so we don't so any financial stuff on her computer.

My wife would like to be able to once again safely do financial things like banking, investment accounts and shopping, on line.
Temporarily, she uses my MacBook Pro running 10.11.6 for these financial transactions. We do use a firewall on our home WiFi and it ,is protected by WPA security. I do realize that doing money stuff on a public WiFi is generally not a good idea, so we won't do that unless we learn enough to be safe. (I think that means using a VPN, but I have to learn a whole lot more first.)

My Conundrum:
My wife is interested in getting an iPad Air 2 instead of a new Macbook Pro and using it for banking and shopping and other financial things she used to do on her computer.

I don't know anything about iOS security and found all kinds of polar-opposite opinions on line about the safety of financial transactions with iPad's OS. So I figured it was time to pester you all & find out the real facts.

I was wondering if the iOS on iPads are safe enough for online financial activity?

Thanks Very Much for helping me make a wise decision. I sure appreciate it!
Enjoy Today,

02-02-2017, 10:16 PM
Generally speaking, the same precautions apply when using iOS as when using OS X. If your wife is using the iPad from home it will be under the same firewall protection and encryption as your MacBook Pro. The only browser that comes pre-installed on any of Apple's iOS devices is Safari and it uses the same level of encryption as does the OS X version.

Where she would need to be careful is when away from home (not on your home network), say at Starbucks or McDonalds. Public WiFi is a no no for secure transactions unless you're using a VPN. There is also VPN software available for iOS.

02-02-2017, 11:07 PM
Also, most financial institutions have separate iOS apps available. They may be a little more secure than using online browser.

Rod Sprague
02-03-2017, 12:03 AM
So the broad answer is Yes, a new iPad Air will be as safe as a new MacBookPro as far as the Safari browser is concerned with the additional advantage of being able to use dedicated iOS banking applications for most banks.
It will also be able to use the latest versions of other browsers with their own security measures.
The real difference between an iPad and a MacBook Pro is that it does not have the same file structure. That is there is no Finder, you cannot open a list of folders and drag and drop documents between them. You cannot just save an email attachment to the desktop because it does not have one. You must decide where to save things like PDF's and documents and that would usually mean something like another app or a cloud based service like Google Doc's, iCloud or Dropbox. It is essentially a glorified mobile phone, not a computer. If she is happy with how things are organised on an iPhone then she will love the iPad.

02-03-2017, 09:12 AM
I have done online purchases on my MacBook and my iPad at my local starbucks without too much of a second thought, since it is a mac and i do not go to torrent sites or other questionable sites, however i would never think about doing things like that at a mcdonalds in my area due to the types of people who visit them here as well as the employees at the said mcdonalds in my area. maybe i simply have been lucky but i have never had an issue. I also have a windows laptop that is used for severe storm chasing and digital ham radio programming that i absolutely would never use for any kind of online business matters such as online purchasing or banking. on the other hand i generally do not keep any amount of money in my bank accounts since most of my income comes from the black jack table in the local casino or sales of storm video and is a cash income, that way there is really no record of income and i do not have to pay federal or state taxes. the only money that goes in the bank is the people that pay by check or like chase quick pay for the snow plowing service i do.

02-03-2017, 10:03 AM
I want to send my sincere Thank You to each of you for taking time to reply and explain things in an honest & straight forward manner. We both sure appreciate it!

Thanks also Rod for explaining the file structure for an iPad. I never knew the operating system didn't have the familiar file structure. I'll make sure my wife is aware of how it works and is comfortable with that system instead of the Finder & Desk Top stuff we are both quite used to using.

I also appreciate hearing about the mobile apps from banks & similar institutions. We don't use smart phones on line (geezers that we are), so apps are new to us.
It seems likely that if one were to take all reasonable precautions (firewall, home wifi, strong passwords, etc) and used the institution's dedicated app, you would have a stronger case to present to the bank if something went wrong & the account was compromised.

It made me laugh when you mentioned your McRonald cautions, Pitbull. When there's bullet proof glass between me & the employee and they have guards in the lobby & parking lot, as is often seen around here, using their free WiFi to bank is not on my to-do list.

To be fair, I suppose the chances of getting WiFi snooped are far higher at the fancy suburban neighborhood McD's & Starbucks because the patrons are more likely to know how to do this sort of stuff. (Gun vesus Keyboard... Our digital age sure gives the bad guys choices.)

Thanks Again everyone for the great introduction to iPad safety and how the system works.

Enjoy This Day!

02-03-2017, 10:14 AM
i think the starbucks by me is far safer than the mcdonalds by me judging from the class of the people that come in and the fact that the police are always on break there, plus the mcdonalds has had the atm compromised many times.