How to verify iPhone privacy settings

Applications on your iPhone have to ask for permission before accessing your data, but have you ever accepted a permission request just to reconsider it later? Recover control of your data by reviewing privacy settings.

It is also about more than applications. Your iPhone allows you to limit the ad tracking available for applications, preventing them from showing you targeted ads.

How iPhone privacy works

Apple's rigid approach to iPhone privacy is reassuring, providing you with the tools you need to monitor exactly what your applications know about you. At any time, you can disable an application's access to your location, camera, microphone and other potentially confidential data.

Applications always ask for permission. If you download a camera application, you will need access to your camera to function. This takes the form of an actionable pop-up window, where you can grant or deny the request.

This is how Apple designed privacy to work on the iOS operating system. You must manually grant access to information and services, such as your location, camera, microphone, health data and even your Apple Music library. These privacy requests include other applications, such as Reminders, Calendar and Contacts.

Apple did this to facilitate the administration of your personal information. Not all applications need access to everything they request to function. You don't necessarily want all applications to send you automatic notifications, monitor your location or listen through your microphone.

However, this is not just about applications. There are other important options you should check, including ad tracking, keyboard access and browser privacy options. There is nothing paranoid about being aware of privacy.

How to change what your applications can access

You can control which applications have access from Settings. In the Settings app, scroll down and touch "Privacy" to reveal a list of private types of data, such as Location Services, Contacts and Photos. Touch on each of these to see a list of applications that have requested access. Now, touch the button to grant or revoke access to any application you deem appropriate.

The iOS privacy menu

While reviewing your privacy settings, decide if an application requires the service to run. An application like Shazam needs access to your microphone to work, but Instagram doesn't need access to your contacts unless you're trying to find friends.

Revoke access to certain services may have implications for the application in question. For example, disabling Facebook access to your camera will prevent the Facebook camera from working, but will not affect the main functionality of the application.

How to change which applications can access your location

In Settings and Privacy there is a section called Location Services. This is where you control which applications have access to your location. It is a bit different from the other configurations because there are three options:

Never: The application cannot access your location at all.

While using the application: the application only has access to your location while it is open on the screen in front of you.

Always: the application can check your location in the background.

You will also find symbols next to some of the applications, which resemble the iOS Location Services icon (an arrow pointing northwest). This can help you understand which applications are using your location:

Purple arrow without fill: the application can receive your location under certain conditions.

Purple sign with fill: the app has used your location recently.

Continuous gray arrow: the application has used your location at some point in the last 24 hours.

If you see an application that you don't use much and that shows a solid arrow, you might want to block access to your location, or consider removing the application. The no-fill arrow often refers to applications that use geofencing, which run through Apple Watch widgets or applications, such as Weather.

iPhone: how to change which contacts can access your location

You can share your location with other Apple users through iMessage. To do so, open "Messages" and select a contact that is using iMessage; you will distinguish it because its chat bubbles will be blue, not green. Now, touch the contact's name at the top of the screen and then choose "Information." Then, touch "Share my location" to share for an hour, a day or indefinitely.

It can be easy to forget who you shared your location with, so you can check this in Settings, then Privacy and finally Location services. Touch "Share my location" to display a list of contacts that can track your GPS position almost in real time.

You can disable the setting completely by switching «Share my location» or tap «From» to choose another Apple device to stream from.

Another option is to revoke access to your location by touching a contact, moving to the bottom of the entry and touching «Stop sharing my location». You can also use the Find My Friends application to track and manage the location shared with contacts.

How to change which system services use your location

Go to Settings and then Privacy. Now scroll to the bottom of the list and touch "System Services." You will see a list of the services currently using your location. You can disable any of these, but most users should leave them enabled.

The "Significant locations" menu will probably be of particular interest. This is a list of locations that your iPhone stores to "provide useful information related to location on Maps, Calendar, Photos and more." This information is encrypted and not available to Apple, but your device uses it to make suggestions related to traffic, travel time and more.

Below is the "Product improvement" section, which uses your location to help improve Apple services. This information is not encrypted and must be available to Apple anonymously for them to be useful. Feel free to disable any service you don't feel comfortable with.

How to change which applications send you notifications to the iPhone

Notifications are not a big privacy issue, but they can be annoying. They can also show information to anyone who reads about your shoulder. You can go to Settings, then Notifications to disable access to your notifications by application.

How to manage third-party keyboard access on iPhone

Third-party keyboards do not present a privacy risk unless you grant "Full Access" to the keyboard developer. Full access allows everything you type with a third-party keyboard to be sent to the application developer. Some keyboards need to work at full capacity, but they can reveal personal information, passwords or even credit card details.

If you have third-party keyboards installed, they will be listed in Settings; General; Keyboards. Tap on "Keyboards" at the top of the menu to see a list of all that are installed. Then, touch one and you will see the option to "Allow full access", which you can enable or disable. You should keep in mind that some keyboards will not work without this setting enabled.

Safari privacy settings review

Safari is the default browser on your iPhone. You can find their privacy settings in Settings and then in Safari. The default setting is appropriate for most users. Since Safari tries to limit cross-site tracking and displays a warning of fraudulent websites for marked domains.

You can go one step further by disabling all cookies. If you do this, you must log in to the services more frequently and some features, such as shopping carts, will not persist between sessions. Also, you can disable access to the microphone and camera, although websites will display an additional message requesting access if necessary.

Remember that if you use a different browser like Chrome, this setting will not apply. However, Safari respects your privacy in a way that should satisfy most users. However, if you want one that goes even further, you should consider:

DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser: This search engine turned into a browser for iOS and Android blocks all third-party cookies, classifies the sites according to their privacy policies and forces the encrypted connection. It also puts Google in favor of DuckDuckGo.

Ghostery Private Browser: started as a browser extension, but Ghostery is now available as a private browser for iOS and Android. It promises to show who is tracking you. In addition, it provides controls to block trackers, private searches with Cliqz and protection against possible phishing attacks.

Onion Browser: connect directly to Tor and surf the Internet privately. Block trackers, scripts and cookies from the website. Force secure connections and access .onion websites that are only available through Tor.

Blocking phone numbers, messages and FaceTime on iPhone

Sometimes, taking control of your device's privacy means blocking someone with whom you no longer want to talk. You can prevent a contact from sending you phone calls, FaceTime calls or Messages by blocking the person who is calling.

If the caller has associated your number with FaceTime, FaceTime calls will be blocked, but you may also need to block any email address that is not associated with your number.

To block a number that you have not saved, launch the "Phone" application and tap the "Recent" tab. Find the number you want to block and touch the information button («i») next to it.

On the next screen, select "Block this caller." You can do the same in the FaceTime application, or by looking for a contact you have saved in Contacts and by tapping on the option: "Block this caller" at the bottom of the entry.

At any time, you can verify who you have blocked in Settings; Telephone and then "Call blocking and identification". You can also access the "Locked" menu in Settings; FaceTime and Settings; Posts.

While there are spam calling and SMS monitoring applications, there may be a privacy compensation. By using services like Hiya, allow a third party to see some of your data. However, as the iPhone Settings application says, "call blocking and caller applications cannot access any information about your incoming calls."

If you are tired of receiving spam but do not want to install another application, the best advice is to stop answering your phone. And no kidding.

Limit ad tracking in Apple applications

Apple no longer runs an independent advertising platform. The iAd platform was closed in 2016. However, Apple still sends targeted ads through some applications, including the App Store, Apple News and the Stocks application.

Go to the Settings menu and Privacy. Scroll to the bottom of the list and then tap on "Advertising." If you limit ad tracking, Apple will disable targeted ads based on interests. This means that the ads you receive will be less relevant. Now, tap on "Reset advertising ID" to start over with a clean whiteboard.

The analyzes are used to improve Apple software. Anonymous information is collected about the use of the device, errors and diagnoses. Apple uses this information to update or create new software and other devices. Application developers can also collect data on application crashes and general use.

To change any of these settings, go to Settings and then Privacy. Scroll to the bottom of the list and then touch the "Analytics" option. Then, tap on "Analytics Data" to see a daily report. You will find information there related to the use, including the operator you use, the complications you use on your Apple Watch and the background processes used by your iPhone.

IPhone privacy gets better with iOS 13

If you thought that Apple's security and privacy was already quite robust, then we have something for you. The new iOS 13 It will take you to a new era of privacy and security. Features like "Register with Apple", will be very different from those of Google and Facebook.

And besides, they won't collect your information. You can even choose to share a single email address with an application that already had your registered email.