No matter how careful you are, your privacy is always at risk when you go online. You can mitigate this by avoiding social media and certain apps and websites.
We understand that it is not always easy to avoid the world’s most popular websites and apps. You can still enjoy it as long as you take some precautions. Tap or click here to learn how to check your privacy settings with Facebook and Google.
Apple just released a new announcement that puts into stark (and scary) how much information is being bought and sold. The short video shows it, but it’s an accurate analogy of what’s really going on with your data.
The star of the ad is Ellie, who’s at a record store and browsing some vinyl. I noticed a set of large wooden doors with a display that read “Ellie’s Data Auction.”
An auction is taking place behind those doors. The merchandise for sale consists of Ellie’s private data, including email messages, pharmacy purchases, location data, contacts, recent transactions, browsing history and text messages. Each one is sold to the highest bidder.
“It’s not scary, it’s a trade!” The irony of the pamper.
When the last batch is brought on stage, Ellie takes out her iPhone and clicks the button labeled “Ask App Not to Track.” Bidders are disappearing one by one in a puff of smoke. Then Ellie clicks “Mail Activity Protection,” and the seller is gone.
What can you do about it
While it’s fun to watch, Apple’s video should be taken seriously. Your data is always at risk of being collected and sold. Let’s look at how to prevent this from happening with the tools built into your iPhone.
Protect your email
With iOS 15, Apple introduced Mail privacy protection, which added tracking blockers that prevent senders from knowing if you’ve opened an email. The Mail and Safari app hide your IP address to keep your location private. Here’s how to make sure it’s enabled:
- go to Settings > Mail > Privacy Protection.
- Slide the toggle next to Mail activity protection to the right to enable it.
You can also run Hide my emailAnd Which lets you use a temporary email to sign up for new accounts when you’re signed in with Apple:
- go to Settings and press [your name] > iCloud.
- handle Hide my email To set up your addresses.
Hide your purchases
When you buy something online, transaction history and cookies can be tracked to serve you with ads and deals. A VPN makes outgoing traffic anonymous and encrypts your connection so your activity can’t be traced. Keep reading for more information about VPNs.
Hide your location
The apps can track your location, get an idea of your daily routine, shopping habits, and more. Fortunately, you can restrict location tracking to all of your apps or limit the ones on your iPhone. Here’s how:
- go to Settings > Privacy > Site services.
- Slide the toggle next to Site services To the left to disable.
- You can also scroll down the list and adjust location tracking for individual apps.
Related: Twitter shares your location when you Tweet – take that step now
Restrict access to your contacts
Does this new game you downloaded have any reason to know who is in your contact list? no. Here’s how to prevent apps from accessing your contacts:
- go to Settings > Privacy > Contacts And swipe the toggle to the left next to any apps you don’t want access to your contacts.
Hide your browsing history
Safari has built-in privacy to hide your search history and block cookies:
- go to Settings> Safari and scroll down to Privacy and security.
- Slide the toggle next to Prevent cross-site tracking The right to restrict third party cookies and data.
- handle Hide IP and press Who are the trackers?.
- Slide the toggle next to Block all cookies Right to prevent websites from adding cookies to your iPhone.
- Slide the toggle next to Fraudulent website warning Right to receive a warning if you visit a suspected phishing site.
- Slide the toggle next to Privacy maintain ad measurement Right to prevent websites from displaying your data and showing you targeted ads.
iCloud Private Relay encrypts the traffic leaving your iPhone, preventing websites from seeing your IP address and location while also preventing network providers from collecting your browsing activity. It works similarly to a VPN. Here’s how to turn this feature on:
- go to Settings> [your name] > iCloud > Private Migration and switch on the switch.
Related: Take a minute to adjust important privacy settings in Android
Your iMessages are encrypted by default
Your iPhone uses end-to-end encryption to protect your iMessage and FaceTime chats across all your devices. You can also use messaging apps like WhatsApp, which uses end-to-end encryption.
Prevent apps from tracking you
Last year, Apple introduced the Application Tracking Transparency (ATT) program, which allows iPhone and iPad users to identify which apps can track their online behavior:
- If you see a request to track your activity, you can click Allow or ask the app to do not track.
- go to Settings > Privacy > Trackingand check it out Allow apps to request tracking closed. This will automatically reject any new app tracking requests.
Get a VPN for all-round protection
A VPN provides a layer of protection between your devices and the Internet. It hides your IP address and location and encrypts your data after you leave your device.
Whether it is a computer, smartphone, or tablet, it connects to the Internet through an ISP. These servers send you information and capture information about you, your IP address, location, device, and more.
VPN blocks two-way information sharing. The IP address and location data comes from the VPN host’s server, so servers on the other end know nothing about you or your data. Hackers, scammers and thieves will not be able to access you, your data, your travels or your money.
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