Apple’s iPhone is a masterpiece of technology which is constantly upgrading and moving towards perfection with every update. An example for this statement is the new iOS 7 that brought plenty of new features and capabilities. The bad thing that came with all of these goodies is that privacy could be seriously threatened by a large number of features and settings from the new operating system. That’s why, in the following article you will discover some simple steps you have to make in order to create a more secure environment for your smartphone.
iOS 7 Privacy Tips
The new iOS 7 is awesome, but it also has some privacy issues and security flaws, from the feature that allows Apple to store your visited locations to the one that permits Safari to store you credit card numbers. These little problems have to be resolved by users as quickly as they buy their new smartphone or update their old one, before they turn into serious problems. So, in order to secure ourselves better and resolve the security issues, you can quickly make some settings that you’ll find in the following lines.
Restrict Microphone Access
In order to work properly, a new installed application will ask you for different permissions, including the permission to access your microphone. Maybe for some of you this doesn’t really mean something, but for others who think that somebody is spying on them, this can represent a big deal and they will want to revoke its access.
To do this, users just have to go to the “Settings” of their smartphone and select “Microphone”, which can be found under “Privacy”. Here, there are a bunch of settings that refer to your mic, including the one from which you can turn off the access of any app to your microphone.
Enable “Find My iPhone”
In case you ever lose your smartphone or it is stolen by somebody, you can simply track it using iCloud’s services. These facilities allow users to put their phone in lost mode or erase all of their content directly from iCloud.
All users have to do is to enable this feature by accessing “iCloud”, which can be found under the “Settings” menu. There, users have to check the “Find My iPhone” option in order to be able to track their smartphone whenever they need.
Disable Ad-Tracking, Passwords, Credit Card AutoFill
With the launch of the new iOS 7, Apple also offered a new version of the well-known web browser, Safari, which has come with some new interesting features. Now, users can save their personal information (name, address), usernames, passwords and even the numbers from the credit card to auto-fill whenever they are necessary.
This feature is double-edged, because this is certainly a better way to fill the information, but if your phone falls into the wrong hands it could easily turn into a disaster. To disable these things, go to “Settings” and choose “Safari”. There, uncheck everything, such as “Use Contact Info” and “Credit Cards”.
You should also do some tweaks in the Safari settings that may protect better your privacy. One thing you can easily do in case you don’t agree to the fact that the third-party advertisers are tracking all your moves is to disable the ad-tracking feature. In the same settings page, just turn on the “Do Not Track” option.
Enable the Fraudulent Website Warning
Another big problem of these days is the identity theft which can be prevented with the help of an interesting feature from Safari. In the same Safari settings area, turn on the “Fraudulent Website Warning” option, which will always show a warning message whenever you’ll use Safari and try to open a page that is considered a phishing website. The URL in cause will be send to Apple’s servers and checked with their database for further investigation.
Disable Frequent Locations
A new feature came with iOS 7 which allows the Maps application to store all your frequently visited locations, in order to offer a better experience for the predictable destinations. If you don’t agree with this thing and you are scared that they are tracking every move you make, then disable this feature.
Firstly, access the “Privacy” sub-menu from the “Settings” menu and choose “Locations Services”. Secondly, scroll down until you find “System Services”, access it and from the newly appeared menu turn the “Frequent Locations” feature off.
Turn Off the Location-based iAds
In the same “System Services” menu, users are able to turn off the “Location-based iAds”. This feature permits advertisers to provide ad banners, based on user’s location at that certain moment in third-party apps.
Turn on the Limit Ad Tracking option
If you are annoyed by the targeted ads from the free or paid applications which were downloaded from iTunes, then stop them using your information. To do this, you have to go another time to “Settings” and to select “Advertising”, under “Privacy”. Here, just enable the “Limit Ad Tracking” option.
Limit Location Access to Certain Apps
If you don’t agree with the fact that certain apps know your exact location, then restrict their access to this kind of information. You can disable the “Location Services” for everything, but take into consideration that some important apps won’t be able to use this info too, like Maps or Facebook when you want to check-in somewhere,
Siri is a really helpful feature, which was recently introduced, that allows you do numerous things, such as dictating a note, searching a nearby restaurant and other tasks, so why disabling it? In fact, there is an issue that allows users to activate the Airplane Mode directly from the lock screen, which will prevent the Find My iPhone feature to work. If the smartphone is stolen, this can be a serious problem.
There are two ways to prevent this to happen, either to turn off entirely the Siri feature, by accessing the “Siri” menu from the “General” settings and turning it off, or to disable it only from the lock screen. If you choose the second way, go again to “General”, which can be found under “Settings”, and select “Passcode Lock”. Enter your unlocking code and from the menu that appeared, just disable Siri under the “Allow Access When Locked” options. From now on, Siri won’t work anymore when you have your screen locked.
Clear your Safari’s History and Cache
If you haven’t already started to use the private browsing in Safari and you want to clear all the information about your browsing history and the cache data that was stored into your smartphone, then don’t worry anymore because this is a simple task: just go to “Safari” under “Settings” and tap on “Clear History” and “Clear Cookies and Data”.
Also, take into consideration to use the private browsing to surf the Internet, because in this way it will be totally anonymously. It won’t even store the Auto Fill information and it will block advertisers to track you and even will automatically enable the cookies blocker. To do this, just open Safari application and tap on “Tabs”, where you will select to go “Private”.
Turn off Diagnostics & Usage
The Diagnostics & Usage feature is a setting that monitors and stores everything you do on your own smartphone and sends all the data anonymously to Apple’s servers, where they will use it in order to improve the operating system.
This may seem useful, but it can easily transform in something harmful. If you decide to let this option enabled it will be like you are giving them permission to record every move you make. So, if you don’t want to permit this, go to “Location Services”, under “Privacy” that can be found in the “Settings” menu, and select “System Services”. Here, just disable to option that is called “Diagnostics & Usage”.