14 Security and Privacy Settings for Every iOS User

Author: Vladimir Ghilien

Last updated: August 10, 2017

However you perceive the reality, the truth is that your data is constantly at risk. And you probably know this already. This includes advertisers, the FBI, hackers, and phishers, and a myriad of snoopers that all strive for access to your digital activity. Although some of them want to – or at least claim they want to – protect you

Alphanumeric Passcodes

Perhaps, you’re already utilizing a 4-digit passcode, but there is a way to improve that with an alphanumeric or 6-digit code. In order to set it, you have to go to Settings->Touch ID & Passcode, select Change Passcode, and then tap the small Passcode Options dialog in the section. Alphanumeric codes are extremely tough to decipher, so using one is actually a great idea. Also, make sure you spend some time setting Touch ID up.

Data Cleaning

There’s the Erase Data toggle at the bottom of the Settings->Touch ID & Passcode section. Toggle it to green and all your iPhone’s data will be deleted after 10 unsuccessful passcode attempts.

Two-Factor Authentication

This is one of the most effective means of protection: when you introduce your Apple ID and password on a new gadget for the first time, Apple will inquire your identity verification with a 6-digit code via one of your gadget. You can manage this feature on your Apple ID account page.

“Find My iPhone” Feature

Don’t lose your device – go to Settings->iCloud->Find My iPhone to enable Apple’s Find My iPhone on all your iOS gadgets. Make sure to enable Send Last Location, so that your iOS gadget will share its last location before battery charge runs out.

Location protection

iPhones collect user’s favorite locations automatically. This may be useful, but this feature can be toggled off in Settings->Privacy->Location Services->System Services->Frequent Locations, which should be turned off. You may remove the already collected data by tapping Clear History. You may as well control which system services are tracing your location in Settings->Privac->Location Services->System Services. In this section you may see Apple applications that use your data and toggle off the ones you don’t need, but do not turn off Find My iPhone.

More Location

A lot of applications request access to that information, even when not being used. If you want to review the permissions you have granted and to which applications, you should go to Settings->Privacy->Location Services – this is also where you may assign each of your device’s apps with a location permission access. Restricting access to this data could as well restrict some apps’ functions, but you get an advantage in terms of privacy – you may alter the settings any time you want to run an application, and are you certain you wanted to share your location data with an application that you’ve used just one time?


Who Gets Their Hands on Your Data?

A lot of mobile applications require access to such personal data as contacts, email, or even calendar info. The thing is that applications will inquire permissions for using this data, but you may alter and review the amount of access you grant to third party mobile apps in Settings->Privacy and choosing which products are trusted enough to utilize this information.

Hard payments

Does it actually take that much time to manually confirm each purchase you could make on your iOS device? In order to protect yourself from unwanted costs, choose Always Require, when you see a payment dialog.

Remove iMessages

Are you sure you want your iMessages to be available for reading to anyone that could get into your iPhone? If you don’t, make sure to go to Settings->Messages and set 30 days in the Keep Messages – this is the shortest term Apple permits.

Lock Your Device’s Screen

When your screen is locked, you may still preview notifications, messages, and emails. Thus, anyone holding your device may monitor these communications in cases, when they can’t even get into the phone of yours. You may go to Settings->Notifications->Messages and Mail to change it. By disabling Show Previews, you improve your privacy, and keep your communications away from the lock screen.

No Passcode???

Although you may leave Siri, Wallet, Today, Reply with Message, or Today visible and accessible on your lock screen to a certain point, you can still turn them off in Settings->Touch ID and Passcode.

Privacy in Safari

Advertisement networks want your personal information. They strive for it to not only sell you stuff they want, but they as well attempt to earn money by selling demographic data on your behalf to advertising agencies. You may control the things you share by going to Settings->Privacy->Advertising and enabling the Limit Ad Tracking switch. Then, in order to anonymize yourself, you must tap the Reset Advertising Identifier tool. Also, remember to not use any Google services.

Consider Using DuckDuckGo

Now, you should set a search engine that doesn’t collect data about you. You can do it in Settings->Safari->Search Engine to set DuckDuckGo.

Take Care about Auto-Lock

Reduce the auto-lock timer to 30 seconds. In order to do this, go to Settings->General->Auto-Lock.

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