iPhone privacy settings you need to turn on right now

Source: AP
Source: AP

In the digital age, your privacy is always at risk. Tech companies are aware of this, and while they may not always advertise solutions, they embed them in the devices we use. Apple has a number of privacy settings buried within the iPhone's settings menus to make your personal information more secure. Here are some options you should consider while using your iPhone.

Create a stronger passcode.

Fingerprint Touch ID is great, but it's not always an option. In those cases, you should give yourself the best defense from intruders with a strong passcode. In the Settings app, under Touch ID & Passcode, you'll find Passcode Options. If you haven't already, you can switch your four-digit passcode to six digits, or make things even more complicated with a custom alphanumeric passcode. 


Passcode options
Source: 
Mic

Prevent apps from tracking your location. 

For some apps, like Tinder or Yelp, location services are completely justified. But does Facebook always need to know where you are? Not necessarily. If you're using an app and you receive a prompt asking to allow location access, think really hard about whether it's necessary. And if you ever want to go back and make changes, head to the Settings app and select Privacy. Right at the very top is Location Services, and its menu opens up all of the apps you've enabled to access your location data. Feel free to make any changes at your discretion. 

All of these apps could be using your location
Source: 
Mic

Don't let apps upload your personal data

Some apps also want to be granted access to things like your contacts or photos. Again, it's important to consider what apps actually need this information and which could do without. Think carefully whenever that prompt goes up, and to make any changes down the line go to Settings > Privacy again. Below Location Services is a full list of various data (your calendar, for example) that can be adjusted for each individual app.

Turn off Frequent Locations

If you use the iPhone's native Maps app, then Apple is probably tracking you. Using the Frequent Locations feature, your iPhone tracks your most-visited haunts, which could supply a lot of clues should your phone get into the wrong hands. You don't need a tracker to remind you of your favorite spots because, well, they're your favorite. Check out our full guide on how to disable this setting.

Enable a password for app purchases

You never know who could get their hands on your phone. With Apple Pay, it's super easy to make payments, which is usually nice and convenient. But it could also put your financial security in jeopardy. To add an additional layer of protection, select "Always Require" for a permanent password whenever you're presented with this prompt.

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Aric Suber-Jenkins

Aric is a writer covering technology. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Maxim and Brooklyn Magazine. He is based in New York and can be reached at aric@mic.com.

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