Many of us choose to use an iPhone — as well as other devices in the Apple ecosystem — because of the company's dedication to user privacy and security. If you need more proof of that commitment, look no further than iOS 14.5, released April 26, which adds new tools to protect our data while browsing the web and more control over the data installed apps collect on us.
How To: Stop Apps from Asking to Track Your iPhone Activity in iOS 14.5 for More Control Over Your Privacy
If you're like me, you're not too keen on being tracked. So when an app asks you if it can track your iPhone activity across other programs and websites for ads or data brokers, the answer is pretty much always "no." If you're tired of choosing "Ask App Not to Track" over and over again, there is a way to stop apps from even being able to ask in the first place.
Malevolent hackers can divert your incoming calls and texts to any number they want, and they don't need to be a criminal mastermind to do it. Even friends and family members can reroute your incoming calls and messages so that they know exactly who's trying to reach you, and all it takes is seconds of access to your iPhone or wireless account. These secret codes can help uncover them.
Apple wants to support the advertising economy, but its primary focus of late has been user privacy and security. In Safari, cross-site tracking, which lets content providers track you across websites and apps to show you more targeted ads, is disabled by default. However, content providers can get around that using less privacy-invasive ad measurements, but you can stop that too in iOS 14.5.
How To: What Are Those Orange & Green Dots for in Your iPhone's Status Bar? To Protect You from Malware & Hackers
After updating to iOS 14 or getting a new iPhone with iOS 14 preinstalled, you'll notice orange and green dots that occasionally appear at the top of your iPhone. These dots appear on all supported iOS 14 devices, from the iPhone 6S to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and are there to protect you, but how?
Everything lives online these days, so it's not uncommon to have hundreds of credentials for different accounts on apps and websites. That's why a password manager is a must, and your iPhone has one built right into iOS that you can start using today. In iOS 14, it's gotten even more useful since it can now monitor your passwords regularly to see if any match leaked password lists online.
Warning: Sensitive Info You Black Out in Images Can Be Revealed with a Few Quick Edits on Your iPhone
These days, most images we post online or share with others come from our smartphones. Whenever personal data is in them, such as debit card numbers, addresses, phone numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information, it's easy to jump into your iPhone's markup tools to black out the text before sharing. But a digital marker may not hide everything.
You might be giving out your name to every stranger you see, and you don't even know it. That iPhone of yours has a name — generally a combination of your first name and device model — and it broadcasts it to others via AirDrop, Personal Hotspot, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other connections. Sure, it's useful to keep your device name simple and to the point, but there are upsides to changing it.
Most websites and apps support two-factor authentication (2FA), which adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requesting another form of identification beyond username and password. The second factor can be a recovery code, physical security key, or one-time password (OTP) that only you can access, even if someone else has your password. This process is easier than ever thanks to iOS 15.
With all of the hype around the new iPhone 13 series and new iPad and iPad mini unveiled this week, it would be easy to overlook a very critical update for the device you already have in your pocket.
How To: Prevent Thieves from Turning On Your iPhone's Airplane Mode, So You Have a Better Chance to Track It Down
When an iPhone is lost or stolen, it's imperative to start tracking it via Find My as soon as possible, whether that's from a computer, tablet, or someone else's phone. However, if it's stolen, there's a good chance the thief or robber turns on Airplane Mode, blocking all communication with the iPhone. If this is a scary thought, you can prevent thieves from accessing Airplane Mode altogether.
How To: Your iPhone Uses a Hidden Tracker to Keep Tabs on Your Recent & Most Visited Locations — But You Can Stop It
Your iPhone keeps track of every single place you go, especially those you frequent most often, and syncs those locations across all your iCloud-connected devices. People who gain access or already have access to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac may be able to view all of these locations to see where you've been and where you might be. If this worries you, there are things you can do.
One of the smaller frustrations of the coronavirus pandemic is unlocking your iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask. If you have an iPhone with Touch ID, you won't need to punch in your passcode every time Face ID fails since you can use your fingerprint. But for those of us without Home buttons, unlocking our iPhones just got a lot easier — even if we're wearing a mask.
How To: Disable This Wi-Fi Option on Your iPhone to Increase Security & Prevent Unresponsive Apps & Webpages
You're out and about, and nothing on your iPhone will load. A glance at the settings shows a saved Wi-Fi network with full bars that your iPhone had connected to automatically, but you're not getting any internet. If you've experienced this, you're not alone, and there's something you can do about it. You'll even increase privacy and security on your iPhone in the process.
How To: Disable Location Access to All Your iPhone Apps So You Can Be Wiser About Permissions Going Forward
Many apps on your iPhone want to use your location, most of which are for valid reasons. But some apps can function perfectly fine without location permissions, while others have no business even requesting it. If you want to be more selective about which apps and services you give away your coordinates to, the best thing you could do is start from scratch.
The camera system on the iPhone has never been better. Apple's iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max sport some of the best shooters on the market. But no level of quality makes up for the fact that shady apps can access your cameras for nefarious reasons. You can take control of the situation, however, and block any app you want from using your rear and front-facing cameras.
While there is a lot to love about Apple's latest suite of iPhone models, the real draw comes down to the cameras. The iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max all have killer rear camera systems, but the front camera was also improved. Apple claims Face ID works at more angles than before in these models, which begs the question: can you unlock your iPhone when it's flat on a table?
In iOS 11, Apple made it easier for you to share passwords with friends. Back then, it was just Wi-Fi passwords, which made sense. "What's the Wi-Fi?" gets old after a while. But now, whether you're running iOS 12 or 13, you can share any password you want with any iPhone around, all with one of iOS' best features: AirDrop.
We've all seen the login pages that allow you to log in to third-party accounts using your credentials from Facebook, Google, or Twitter. It saves you the trouble of creating another account and remembering more passwords — but it can also become a privacy and security issue, which is why Apple created the "Sign in with Apple" feature for iOS 13.
If you have friends who aren't privacy-conscious, you've surely heard the old "What do I have to hide?" excuse. Despite the fact that billions of people are using the internet each day, many of them don't know the dangers that can find them. And many don't know the tools to combat them.