One of the main selling points of the iPhone line has been privacy and security. Apple knows it. So much so that the company is setting up giant billboards engaging user privacy and spending millions of dollars on iPhone ads showcasing the device’s privacy features. With the iOS 14 update, Apple is taking its stand to protect user data and bring welcome add-ons to millions of devices.
Apple has steadily added privacy features with every iOS update, but this year the iOS 14 update is worth downloading just for privacy protection. They include privacy reports in Safari, recording indicators, an option to share approximate location with apps instead of specific locations, and more.
In short, iOS 14 should make you and your data more secure than ever. But it’s important to know where these different features are and how to use them. We’ve compiled a list of the best privacy features in the iOS 14 update. Let’s get started.
1. Allow access to selected photos
This is by far my favorite privacy feature in iOS 14. Instead of giving an app access to your entire photo library or nothing at all, you can now select specific photos and videos that the application will have access.
For example, if you downloaded an app to create a collage frame, you don’t have to allow the app to access the entire photo library. Select the relevant photos from the list and you’re good to go.
2. Indicator when microphone and camera are used
We’ve heard of some sketchy apps that take advantage of access to microphones and cameras in the background to listen to user conversations.
With a new feature in iOS 14, you’ll know every time an app accesses your microphone or camera. There is a new indicator that displays right above the iPhone’s signal meter. An orange dot tells you when an app is currently accessing your microphone, while a green dot indicates an app is accessing your camera.
Open Control Center and you will notice the app icon invading your privacy in the background with the orange / green dot.
3. Clipboard notification
Do you know that an app / advertiser can learn a lot based on your clipboard history? A new add-on in iOS 14 alerts you every time an app reads data from your clipboard. This is a seemingly insignificant but vital improvement in user privacy.
TikTok was caught red-handed when they continued to access data from the user’s clipboard in the background. The behavior makes sense for browser apps, keyboard apps that read data from the Clipboard for transparent autofill entries. But not all applications need to adopt the same practice.
4. Limit access to the location
There’s a new Precise Location toggle switch, which you can turn off when you’re fine if an app knows the general area you’re in, but you want to hide the exact GPS coordinates.
For example, Apple Maps, Ride-hailing, or Food Ordering apps must have the Precision Location feature turned on to work properly. But not the weather related apps, where your approximate location should still do the job just fine.
5. Filter incorrect passwords
Apple offers an iCloud Keychain that syncs passwords and other sign-in information for your various accounts across all of your Apple hardware, including iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
iOS 14 now offers a password monitoring system. This will alert you if any of your credentials are detected in a data breach, which means that access to your accounts could be compromised. Open Settings> Passwords and you’ll notice them in the Security recommendations menu.
6. Privacy report in Safari
Web browsing is safe and secure with the privacy report in Safari. You can tap the menu in the upper left corner of the address bar and access the privacy report. Here, you will see a detailed breakdown of which websites are following you and how many trackers Safari is preventing.
7. Allow apps to request tracking
After iOS 14 update, apps now require your permission to start following you on apps and websites. You will receive a notification giving you the option to allow or block any app from tracking you.
By default, the option is disabled in the Settings> Privacy> Tracking menu. When you turn it on, apps will start asking for permission to follow you.
8. Network access
Apps that want to access devices on your local network need to request permission in iOS 14. It is helpful for some apps to request that no business access your local network, like Instagram and Facebook.
9. App Store transparency
App Store – Gateway to millions of apps adds a new privacy section on every app page that will summarize an app’s privacy practices before downloading it.
Apps will now reveal the exact forms of data used to track you. It helps you make better decisions when installing apps on your iPhone. You can also use this information to take action to prevent invasive apps from continually tracking you.
The feature is not yet live. I guess the developers need more time to implement the final changes.
10. Limit Wi-Fi tracking
When you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, there is an option to use a private address to prevent network operators from tracking your phone on different Wi-Fi networks.
On by default, the Use private address setting in any connection’s Wi-Fi settings helps your iPhone remove randomly generated Mac addresses.
11. Connect with Apple Update
Apple launched Login with Apple last year, which is a convenient way to fill in login details for websites and apps. It’s also incredibly secure, as Sign In with Apple allows you to use an anonymous email address while hiding the truth to preserve your privacy. With iOS 14, you can also upgrade existing login information to sign in with Apple.
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Enjoy a safe and secure environment
Apple’s leading commitments to user privacy are commendable. The company is redoubling its efforts to provide users with a safe and secure smartphone experience. Go ahead, try them out and make the necessary changes on the iPhone.
If you’re serious about security, you need to invest in a decent password manager. Read the article below for the five best iCloud Keychain alternatives for iPhone.
Last updated on Oct 19, 2020
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