How to block ad tracking on your iPhone?

one in 2019 article this Washington Post author Geoffrey Fowler described the author’s shock when he discovered how many of his iPhone apps were collecting and installing information about his use while sleeping.

As we all know by now, data is a huge commodity these days. If you use a phone, laptop, or any type of computing device (unless you’re a security professional or a high-end hacker with access to advanced blocking tools), you pay for your apps by contributing marketing and other information. supply companies.

As Fowler’s article shows, iPhone users are not exempt from this. Since his article was published, Apple has made some commendable changes to its privacy policies. However, it’s still a good idea to take responsibility for your own data. There are some simple ways app vendors can minimize the amount of monitoring they can do and the amount of data they can access.

Turn off personalized and location-based ads

According to Apple Advertising and Privacy page:

Apple’s advertising platform does not track you, meaning it does not associate user or device data collected from our apps with user or device data collected from third parties for targeted advertising or ad measurement purposes, and does not share user or device data with data brokers. .

But the page continues by saying that contextual data may be collected, such as your device, its location, your App Store searches, and what you read in Apple News. You can get over this turn off personalized and location-based ads.

To turn off personalized ads

  • Select your “Settings” app, tap “Privacy” and scroll down to “Apple Ads” (it will be near the bottom of the list).
  • Turn off “Personalized Ads”.

You can turn off personalized ads from Apple.

You can also turn off Location Services

You can also turn off Location Services.

To turn off location-based ads

  • Select “Settings” > “Privacy” > “Location Services” (at the top of the screen).
  • Turn off “Location Services”.

On this page you can also change many of your apps such as the App Store or Maps to never allow location access, ask next time, or change while using the app. Also note that you can continue to use the “Find My Phone” feature; It will temporarily enable Location Services.

If you want to see how effectively your phone is protected, you can try to get the following. Panoptic click testPresented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Among other things, the device tracks the fingerprint. I ran it on an Apple iPhone 11 after following the instructions above and got a “partial protection” result to block tracking ads, block invisible trackers and protect from fingerprints.

Lock Safari

If you’re using the Safari browser on your iPhone, there are a few things you can do to make it more secure.

Choose “Safari” in Your iPhone's Settings

Select “Safari” in your iPhone’s Settings.

Enabling “Block All Cookies” is safer but can also be inappropriate.

  • Go to settings.”
  • Select “Safari” and go to the “Privacy and Security” section.
  • Turn on “Prevent Cross-Site Tracking” (which means advertisers and other third-party content providers cannot track you from one site to another).
  • Turn on “Block All Cookies”. Cookies collected by various websites, how you use the site, what information you put on the site, etc. It may contain a lot of information about By blocking cookies, you prevent the collection of this data.

However, you will probably make things very inconvenient for yourself. Your visits to the sites will not be recorded, so for example you may not be able to revisit a playlist or re-purchase the same T-shirt you bought last year. Some sites even refuse entry if you don’t allow them to collect cookies. The choice is yours.

Turn off Background App Refresh

According to AppleThe reason Background App Refresh is turned on is to allow suspended apps (apps that are not currently active) to “check for updates and new content”. It also allows apps to collect marketable tracking data and transmit that data even when you’re not using the app, according to privacy app company Disconnect, which Geoffrey Fowler mentioned in his article. Interestingly, iPhones ship with Background App Refresh turned on, but it’s not too difficult to turn it off.

  • Go to settings.”
  • Select “General”.
  • Select “Background App Refresh”.
  • You will see a list of all the apps that use this feature and they will all open. Find “Background App Refresh” at the top of the page and tap on it.
  • For Wi-Fi and cellular data, you’ll be taken to a page that only lets you enable it for Wi-Fi, or you can turn it off entirely. Select “Off”.
  • If you go back to the previous page, you will see that all the transitions for various applications are completely gone.

You may want to be selective about which apps can run in the background. Some apps may not work well otherwise. For example, Google Photos will not automatically back up your camera roll unless this feature is enabled. So, you can leave “Background App Refresh” on if you want and then choose which apps you want to turn off.

Update March 8, 2021, 5pm ET: This article was originally published on May 30, 2018; Updated several sections to reflect changes in iOS.

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