TORONTO -- For many years people assumed Apple devices were untouchable to cyber threats because they were too tough to hack, but experts say that’s not the case anymore.

Consumer Reports said while many owners of iPhones, iPads and Mac computers may have thought they didn't need anti-virus software, a recent wave of attacks against Apple products are causing concern.

"I’ve always thought Apple products were safer. That’s why I went with them to begin with," Apple user Mark Doherty said.

The good news is researchers say with a few simple steps you can keep your Apple devices safe.

Experts say all connected technology carries some level of risk.

Over the past year, Apple has rolled out a slew of software updates to fix flaws and even some critical vulnerabilities, including at least one that could have left Apple users susceptible to dangerous malware had the patch not been installed.

“Don’t ignore operating system and app updates. This is where known security flaws are fixed, but it is up to you to install them," Bree Fowler, Tech Editor with Consumer Reports said.

To make sure your iPhone or iPad is up to date go to settings, then general and then software update.

On a Mac computer go to Launchpad, then system preferences and then software update.

If your device isn’t getting OS updates because it’s too old, Consumer Reports said it’s best to replace it.

You should also be aware of phishing attempts as they are one of the more common ways users get hacked.

“Most of the time, cyber criminals can only get access to your device if you give them a way, say by clicking on a malicious link, or an attachment in an email, or even a social media post,"Fowler said.

If you thought Apple products don’t need antivirus software, researchers said think again.

Consumer Reports recommends AVG antivirus for Mac. Testers found the free software easy to use and especially good at shielding online threats.

On your iPhone antivirus software can do things like block malicious websites, calls, and texts but because of Apple's security restrictions, antivirus software can’t scan iPhones for viruses.

“I never really thought that I needed antivirus or anything like that. I thought the security was already built into their IOS systems,"Doherty said

Since the security isn’t foolproof, Doherty says he’s thinking about adding extra protection to all his Apple devices

No matter what brand of phone, tablet or computer you have make sure you're using strong passwords with all your online accounts.

 

Use random words, numbers and special characters and consider using a password manager so you don't have to remember them all.