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You Need to Update Your iPhone Right Now

There’s always some risk in storing your information on your smartphone, particularly if you utilize iCloud or another cloud-sharing program—but a new security threat has emerged that makes your iPhone especially vulnerable to attacks, and you need to update now before it’s too late.

According to BuzzFeed News, Apple released iOS 9.3.5 on Thursday after discovering that a company in Israel, currently operating under the name, ‘Israeli NSO Group,’ was “selling and exploiting security vulnerabilities” to iPhones that allowed hackers access to users’ texts, calls, emails, contacts and more.

Mike Murray, the vice president of research at Lookout, a San Francisco-based cyber security company, told BuzzFeed that the company was acting as “basically a cyber arms dealer.”

“We realized that we were looking at something that no one had seen in the wild before,” he said. “Literally a click on a link to jailbreak an iPhone in one step.”

The good news is, if you haven’t gotten any weird text messages lately, you’re probably safe. According to The New York Times, the hackers are sending text messages that contain links to seemingly-legitimate sites, like Google and even the Pokemon Company—but when users click the links, hackers immediately gain full access to their phones.

While it is believed that the attacks were directed toward journalists and high profile figures, you should still be wary of suspicious messages. Your best bet is to avoid clicking on links in text messages at all costs, at least until after you get the update.

Michelle Adams is a political writer for HerCampus as well as a successful freelancer, specializing in self-help articles, political op-eds, and millennial lifestyle pieces. She is currently studying for her B.A. in both English and mass communications at Shenandoah University. Visit her personal blog at http://michelleadamsblog.com, or connect with her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/madamsblog or Facebook at http://facebook.com/michelleadamsblog.
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