How We Can Protect Ourselves from Meltdown and Spectre CPU Flaws

Some researchers have recently revealed that there were some serious flaws in modern processors properly affecting the every Intel computer as well as the AMD and Arm chips in smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

However, the good news is that there are some possible fixes from Intel, AMD and Arm, called Meltdown and Spectre flaws including patches. Microsoft, Apple, and Google have also rolled out some of those mitigations. But first of all, you have to be diligent about installing those patches. Here’s everything you need to know how to protect yourself.

Android Devices

Google has just released a new security update on Jan. 5, which included the mitigations for protecting the Android phones. The company also promised to add more such fixes in the future updates.

If you are owning a Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P phone, you don’t have to do much as your phone should automatically download the update, and you just install it. For Pixel devices, they’ll automatically install the patch update.

However, the update will be a little slow for OEM Android phones of other many manufacturers and cellular carriers. So, you should poke your phone’s manufacturer and carrier to get the update as soon as possible.

iPhones/ iPads/ iPods

If your device is already installed the iOS 11.2 version, your device is safely protected from the vulnerabilities that researchers discovered. According to Apple, the latest updated released on Dec. 2 has included a dozen of mitigations, and the future updates will come with more protections.

To check the current version on your device, simply head to Settings > General > About and check for the Version to confirm you’re on 11.2 or higher. If not, you should go to Settings > General > Software Update to download and install the latest iOS version.

Note: The iOS 11 only supports for iPhone 5S and higher models, iPad Mini 2 and later and iPod Touch 6th

However, the patches won’t affect performance, and there will be more mitigations in the future updates of the company

Windows PCs

On last Wednesdays, Microsoft released a security update to mitigate the issue. If your computer is running on Windows 10 OS, you can download and install it from your PC’s settings.

Head to Settings > Update & Security and check if the security fix is waiting in the update queue. If not, click on Update history (View installed update history) to see if the update patch was already installed. Although the hotfix might come with a variety of different names, you just look for the Security Update for Windows (KB4056892) if the Fall Creators Update has been installed on your computer.

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Besides iPhone and iPad models, a number of mitigations for these vulnerabilities was also rolled out in an update for Mac devices. The updated released on Dec. 6 for Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.2 included fixes for a variety of the flaws.

To check if your Mac has got the latest version, click on the Apple menu button at the upper-left hand corner and then choose About this Mac. If not, you need to launch the App Store app, click on the Update tab, and update the system.

The patch update does not affect the performance of your Mac, so you can get the update without any worry.