Using iPhone with default System and App Settings is not enough to protect your privacy. Hence, we are providing below the steps to Protect Your Privacy on iPhone.
Improve Privacy on iPhone
However, the problem is that many users end up unknowingly providing Camera, Microphone or Location access to unwanted Apps while trying to dismiss the permission prompt.
Luckily, the General and Privacy Settings on iPhone can be easily tweaked to improve and protect your privacy in much better way.
1. Prevent Unwanted Apps from Asking to Track your Activity
An easy way to rule out the possibility of accidentally or unknowingly allowing Apps to track your Activity on iPhone is by preventing unwanted Apps from asking to track your Activity.
Before going ahead with this step, you need to be aware that certain Apps have valid reasons for tracking your activity on iPhone.
For example, you won’t be able to Cast YouTube Videos to TV, if the Chromecast App installed on your device is prevented from tracking your activity on iPhone.
Go to Settings > Privacy > Tracking > move the toggle next to All Unnecessary Apps to OFF position.
Note: If the App is necessary, keep Allow Apps to Request to Track to ON position.
2. Prevent Apps from Tracking your Location on iPhone
The Location Tracking feature on iPhone is used by Apps like Maps, Weather, Find My iPhone and others to provide Directions, Weather Info and the Location of your Lost or Stolen iPhone.
However, there might be other unwanted Apps, unnecessarily collecting your information and sharing it with various third-party companies.
Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > select the App for which you want to disable location tracking.
On the next screen, select the Never option to prevent this particular App from tracking your location.
Note: Select While Using the App, if you believe that a certain App has a valid reason to use your location data, while it is being used.
3. Clear Your Location History
iPhone keeps an accurate record of places that you visit and uses this information to provide location based suggestions and alerts in Maps, Calendar, Photos and other Apps.
According to Apple, this data is protected with strong end-to-end encryption and cannot be read by anyone.
You can remove this information by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Significant Locations.
If prompted, enter your Lock Screen Passcode > on the next screen, scroll down and tap on Clear History option to remove your Location Data from iPhone.
If you do not want iPhone to collect your location data, scroll up on the same screen and move the toggle next to Significant Locations to OFF position.
Once Significant Locations is disabled, you will no longer find iPhone collecting information about places that you visit.
4. Prevent Websites from Tracking Your Location
You can prevent websites from tracking your Location in Safari browser by going to Settings > Safari > Location and selecting the Deny or Ask option.
If you select the “Ask” option, Safari browser will be prompting you for permission, whenever any website wants to track your Location.
5. Periodically Clear Safari History and Website Data
A good way to protect your privacy on iPhone is to get into the habit of periodically clearing Safari History and Website Data on your iPhone.
Go to Settings > Safari > scroll down and tap on Clear History and Website Data link.
On the confirmation pop-up, tap on Clear History and Data to confirm.
This action will clear out all your browsing history, cookies and other website data from your device.
6. Disable Access to Notification Center from Lock Screen
While being able to Access Notifications from Lock Screen is convenient, it also allows others to view Notifications on your device, without entering the Lock Screen Passcode.
Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > When prompted, enter the Lock Screen Passcode for your device.
On the next screen, scroll down to Allow Access When Locked section and move the toggle next to Notifications Center and Today View to OFF position.
Once access to Notification Center and Today View is removed, no one will be able to View or Access Notifications on your iPhone, without knowing its Lock Screen Passcode.
7. Secure iPhone Camera
While Apps like FaceTime, Skype or Google Meet have a valid reason to seek access to the Camera on iPhone, you may have unknowingly provided Camera Access to other unwanted Apps.
Go to Settings > Privacy > Camera > move the toggle next to unwanted Apps to OFF position.
This ensures that only the necessary or required Apps have access to Camera on your iPhone.
8. Secure Microphone
Similarly, you might be surprised to see the kind of Apps that you may have unknowingly provided the permission to listen to your conversations on iPhone.
Go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone > disable unwanted Apps by moving the toggle to OFF position.
Note: If you need turn-by-turn audio directions, you need to provide Google Maps with access to Microphone.
9. Turn OFF Live Photos
According to Apple, Live Photos feature on iPhone actually records what happens 1.5 seconds before and 1.5 seconds after you take the picture.
The danger with this feature is that you may end up sharing your private, personal or trash talking Video/Audio recording, when you share Photos with others.
Open the Camera on your iPhone > select Live Photo Icon and tap on the OFF option.
Once Live Photos are disabled on your iPhone, you will see the Live Photos Icon appearing with a strike mark.
10. Disable Lock Screen Message Previews
Go to Settings > Notifications > Messages > scroll down to “Message Options” section and switch OFF Show Previews by moving the toggle to OFF position.
This setting will ensure that you continue to get Notifications from the Messages App on the Lock Screen of your iPhone, but there will be no Message Content in the notification.
Similarly, you can disable Content in Notifications from other popular apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter and others.
11. Protect Voicemail Messages
According to security researcher Martin Vigo most voicemail systems can be breached by using voicemail cracking tools and other Brute-Force methods that can guess the 4-digit voicemail passcode.
Hence, make sure that you setup a strong Password for your Voicemail Account on iPhone by going to Settings > Phone > Change Voicemail Password.
On the next screen, enter a strong Password to make it difficult for anyone to gain access to your Voicemail by guessing or using Brute-Force attacks.
12. Check Apps Having Access to Your Photos
Check if unknown or unwanted Apps are accessing your Photos by going to Settings > Privacy > Photos.
On the next screen, you will see the list of Apps requesting access to Photos on your iPhone.
13. Prevent Unwanted Apps from Accessing Contacts
Go to Settings > Privacy > Contacts > move the toggle next to Unwanted Apps to OFF position.
With these steps, you have disabled Facebook Messenger from accessing your Contacts on iPhone.