How to finetune your iPhone privacy settings

By , Jun 27, 2013

How to set Privacy 3In light of recent events that have caused the mobile device-using community in the U.S. to do backflips in their ergonomic office chairs, we’ve been thinking of ways to help our readers keep their private lives as private as possible.

One way is to remind you of the privacy setting options on your iOS device. Many of our readers already know how to turn off Location Services and restrict certain apps from accessing data. However, we still like to publish some of the more basic how-to guides for new readers to iDB. We embrace all levels of expertise around here and don’t mind helping out those who are less tech-inclined…

In order to take control over some of your privacy options, Apple added the Privacy section in iOS 6. This makes it possible for you to see who is accessing your data and manually turn off the apps you don’t want using it.

How to set Privacy 1

Managing Location Services

Step 1: Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services

Step 2: If you don’t want anyone to be able to track your location, you can toggle the switch to “Off.” But, if you like being able to add your location in Facebook, but don’t think your photo apps need that information, you can manually select which ones have access to your location and which ones don’t.

Additionally, Apple lets you know which apps are actively tracking you. A solid purple arrow next to an app means that it has recently, or is currently using your location. A gray arrow means that the app has used your location within the past 24 hours. A purple outline of an arrow is evidence that an app is using geofencing, which is the technology that puts a perimeter around a location. For example, the Reminders app will send you a notification to “call home when I leave the office” if you leave the location that is designated in the geofencing perimeter.

Managing System Services

Step 1: Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services

Step 2: Toggle the switch to “Off” for system services that you don’t want accessing your data.

How to set Privacy 2

Controlling Access From Third-Party Apps

Step 1: Go to Settings > Privacy > Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Photos, Bluetooth, Facebook, or Twitter

Step 2: Under each iOS application, you can see which apps have requested access and turn off access by toggling the switch to “Off.” Remember, restricting access for some apps will limit their features. Some apps need that access to work properly at all.

We may not be able to stop the government from getting their grubby little paws all over our private data, but we can control what we let third-party apps have access to.

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  • William J. J. Herrick

    Folks, changing your iOS privacy settings will not prevent the NSA from accessing your data. iOS was compromised by design, as was OS X, Droid, and every MicroSoft OS since Windows 95.