Smart phones are great because they allow us to basically carry our entire lives with us wherever we go. From bank accounts to family pictures, the iPhone has a little bit of it all.
While this is helpful to you, it’s a treasure trove for anyone looking to steal your data. From using a better lock code to turning off location awareness for ads, follow the five tips below to get better iPhone privacy.
Use Find my iPhone
Easily one of the best features your iPhone comes with is the ability to remotely locate and even wipe your data to keep prying eyes off your data.
The first step is to download the Find My iPhone app from the app store (link). This is recommended when you first set your device up, but some people skip it. Once you have it installed head over to the Settings app and tap on iCloud. Scroll down and make sure Find My iPhone is turned on.
With this turned go back to your homescreen and open up the Find My iPhone app. Enter your iCloud information and tap the Go button on your iOS keyboard.
Any device you’ve listed with that Apple ID will show in the list. You don’t need the app to make the service work, but it’s good to have.
Disable Frequent Locations
Your iPhone can be kind of creepy. By default it will save your most frequently visited locations to offer information about them in the Today tab of the notification center.
While this can be useful, it also means there’s a record of where you’ve been in your iPhone. To keep this from happening open up the Settings app and tap on Privacy. From here, tap on Location Services > System Services (at the very bottom) and turn off Frequent Locations.
Set an Alphanumeric Lock Code
You should already know that you need to use a lock code to protect your data. By default your phone gives you a 4-digit code to protect your device, but this can be far too easily guessed by smudges on the screen.
To make this a lot safer you can actually use any length you want as well as use letters, numbers, and characters, too. To set this up just open the Settings app and tap on Passcode Lock. From here, make sure that Passcode is ON at the top, and that Simple Passcode is turned OFF. When you set your password now, you’ll have a full keyboard. Set something that isn’t your name or pet’s name and you’ll have a complex passcode that’s nearly impossible to guess.
Manage Privacy Settings
Apps that access information inside of iOS all must request permission before they can get to it. This is why when you install a new app like Skype you get asked if the app can access your Contacts.
Head over to the Privacy section of the Settings app and review what apps have access to the seven items listed. For example, video and VOIP aps should have access to your Microphone, and only apps that work with your contacts should access those, too. Turn off any app that you don’t want to have access and you’ll keep things nice and private.
Turn Off Location-Based Advertising
Apps that use iAds inside of iOS use your location to give you more relevant ads, but letting these ads know where you are is kind of creepy.
To stop this from happening open the Settings app and tap on Privacy. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and tap on Advertising. Here, turn Limit Ad Tracking ON and tap the Reset Advertising Identifier.
The first will stop ads from seeing your location and the second will remove the identifier that ads already use to see where you are. With both of these done, you should be nice and locationally private to any ad looking for you. Combine all of the tips listed above and you’ll have far better iPhone privacy than most, and your phone will be more private than when you started.