Apple launches a Personal Safety User Guide to tackle safety concerns like AirTag tracking and device access

When Apple launched its device tracking accessory, the AirTag, it did so to plenty of fanfare. It was just one more Apple-branded device that was designed to help with everyday tasks. However, since the accessory’s launch there has been a lot of concern about stalking and property theft. Apple has added features to help alleviate some of those issues, but now the company is going one step further with a dedicated user guide to help smooth over some of the wrinkles.

Apple's promotional image showing an AirTag being held between two fingers

Apple has officially launched a dedicated Personal Safety User Guide that’s designed to be a “a personal safety resource for anyone who is concerned about or experiencing technology-enabled abuse, stalking, or harassment.” The user guide covers plenty of different avenues, including making sure you disconnect from individuals or groups you may not want to stay connected with, as well as how and what information a user shares, who has access to that information, and much more.

From the user guide:

Apple makes it easy to connect with the people closest to you, while helping you stay aware of what you’re sharing and with whom. If you gave someone access to your personal information and no longer want to—or if you’re concerned someone who had access to your device or accounts made changes without your permission—this guide offer strategies and solutions to help you regain control.

Offering quick checklists and in-depth feature tasks, this resource is designed to help customers experiencing technology-enabled abuse, stalking, or harassment understand the options available across the Apple ecosystem that can help you protect your personal safety. It includes step-by-step instructions on how to remove someone’s access to information you previously granted—like location data in the Find My app, meetings you’ve shared in Calendar, and more. It also highlights features you can use to enhance your personal safety—like how to automatically let a friend know when you’ve arrived home safely and how to quickly engage Emergency SOS.

There are different categories and a lot of information to sift through. Some of the areas covered is setting up device security features, including Face ID and Touch ID. Apple obviously points out that staying up-to-date on the current software version is also important. Apple also breaks down how apps access content, how to clear browsing history, how to identify unknown fingerprints associated with Touch ID, and much, much more.

As mentioned above, the AirTag has been a point of contention for personal safety for some. And Apple has a section on the device tracker as well, where it says, in part:

Both AirTag and the Find My network are designed with privacy at their core. AirTag and Find My network accessories have unique Bluetooth identifiers that change frequently. To discourage unwanted tracking, Find My notifies you if an unknown AirTag or other Find My accessory is seen moving with you over time by sending you the message, “Item Detected Near You.” (This feature is available on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 14.5 or iPadOS 14.5 or later). If you see this message on your device, an AirTag or other Find My accessory that has been separated from the person who registered it is traveling with you, and the owner might be able to see its location. It’s possible that the AirTag might be attached to an item you are borrowing.

Go check out the Personal Safety User Guide if you’re curious about some of the steps Apple suggests in regards to user safety.