Looking to improve your privacy? We can help. Our phone is an extension of our lives, so we want to help you make informed decisions on limiting the amount of personal info we share through our devices. Here’s a list of things to keep in mind.
Our browsing behavior typically commands a routine of inputting our info (including address, payment info, passwords, and more) which may become tedious. To save us time, Autofill saves your most commonly used info. It presents you the option of automatically filling in blank forms which is a convenience but can also be a liability should access to your device become compromised.
To disable autofill:
Tap on Settings > Safari > Autofill
Disable the info in the categories you don’t want to be saved
Tap on Settings > Privacy > Auto-fill from Google
Toggle off Use auto-fill with Google
Most native browsers offer a Private/Incognito mode that prevents information such as your cookies, website data, browsing history, or form data from being saved on your device. This means your activity won’t be available to any other website or any person who might come into possession of your device.
Also consider using privacy-centric browsers such as:
Protect yourself from the prying eyes of algorithms that track everything you do online including every website you visit, forms you fill, items looked at and/or purchased, and more. Their goal is to build an advertiser profile to target ads that may be of interest to you.
How to Disable ad Tracking
Tap on Settings > Privacy > Apple Advertising
Disable Personalized Ads
For most Android devices, Tap on Settings > Google > Ads > Delete Advertising ID
Other devices might nest the setting as follows: Settings > Privacy > Ads > Delete Advertising ID
Leaving location services enabled can affect the following: The Good
Help you find your phone should you lose it
List the closest restaurants to you when you’re hungry
Quickly give you driving directions when you’re lost
Embed GPS coordinates into your pictures
Apps/Advertisers can track your location
May use more battery
How to Turn It Off (or limit app access)
Tap on Settings > Privacy > Location Services
Turn off Location Services to disable it for all apps or scroll down and limit access on a per-app basis.
Tap on* Settings > Location
Turn off Location Services to disable it for all apps
or tap on App Permissions to limit location access on a per-app basis
*Alternative to tapping on Settings is to swipe down from the top of the home screen to expose the notification shade and disable Location from quick settings.
Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
Do you use free public wifi on a semi or regular basis? These networks may lack proper security and can leave you vulnerable to theft of your data via interception by bad actors.
Consider using a VPN service. VPNs act like parallel network that tunnels through public wifi networks (or any internet connection in general). They mask your data enabling you to browse safely.
Check out how this top tech blog sites rate VPN services: