iOS 14.3: How To Boost The Privacy And Security Of Your iPhone?

 

When you keep carrying a smartphone in your pocket, this itself exposes you to all sorts of privacy and security threatening efforts. The phone doesn't only allow your actual physical location to be tracked but it also allows tracking your online activities. Apart from compromising the privacy of your personal data, your smartphone can also give unsolicited access to your phone data through camera, microphone, clipboard contents, etc.

For some years Apple was working to resolve these privacy and security issues faced by iPhone users. Though as of now iOS has been far better than Android in terms of efficiency of protecting your privacy and security of your data, it is not also full proof from the security threats and privacy breaches.

The latest iOS update, iOS 14 is considered to be the most secure iOS update with strongest privacy protection measures. The latest iOS 14.3 further added to the firepower of privacy and data security measures. Now development companies before device to hire iPhone app developers, must evaluate how these measures can be positively interpreted in building a safe, secure and privacy abiding app.

Let us guide you here about using this iOS update to do a thorough audit of the data privacy and make the iPhone experience better.

Consider the Camera and Microphone Access

There are many apps that on their own turn on the camera or microphone without seeking any consent. To prevent this happening Apple now brought an on-screen notification with the appearance of a dot right above the network signal meter that easily tells users whenever their camera or microphone is accessed.

The dot turns green when only the camera is accessed and the dot turns to orange with the microphone access. Besides, on top of the control centre you get the notification telling you about the recent app having accessed the device camera or microphone.

Control Access to Your Images

Unlike the earlier iOS versions that don't prevent access to the photo for all apps in use, the new iOS 14.3 you can regulate this access as well. As soon as an app makes a request for accessing your photos, you can either block access or offer full access, or can just give access to selected photos.

In any case if you decide to give access or block access to any particular app, you can do so by going to Settings > Privacy > Photos.

Find the Apps that Collect More Data than Necessary

There are certain apps that collect a lot of data that are not necessary. When some device specific app like the Apple TV app asks for device ID and contact information, it is quite understandable.

But certain apps like Facebook gather a lot of data and you can easily see all the linked data by heading to the Settings. As a marketplace, Facebook uses numerous data to track the user's choices, preferences and buying habits.

Obviously, you can't shun all apps having such practices, but can be more cautious about less known apps that are trying to gather a lot of information just for their commercial purposes.

Say No to Clipboard Snooping

Whenever a piece of data is copy-pasted, the user may get a popup notification and this clearly shows that the app is snooping on the clipboard information.

Don't Disclose Precise Location

Obviously, most apps want to know about your precise location. Well, if necessary just give them your general location in the form of a city name but just don't disclose the precise location involving pin code. Don't use pin points to disclose precise locations on a map.

Obviously, you can still disclose your precise location to some selected apps like the Uber or the food delivery app or the navigation app helping you to find places while on travel. You can always check the permissions for accessing location data by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and make changes as per your preferences.

Check on the Network Access

As of now most apps accessed your network connection unquestionably but from iOS 14 update there will be significant changes. While some apps really need network access to work, for many others the purpose seems to be hazy and less known.

This is why iOS 14 allows you to choose apps that can be permitted network access. You can always edit your choices for giving network access by going to Settings > Privacy > Local Network.

Prevent Wi-Fi Tracking Altogether

The latest of the privacy features with iOS 14 is quite interesting. The iPhone now can create and show a fake MAC address to the nearby Wi-Fi routers so that the device remains incognito for the Wi-Fi network.

The feature comes as a default one and you can easily access this feature by heading to Settings > Wi-Fi and then tapping on the "i" sign just beside the network. Though it is good for most networks, there are also smarter networks that can still send you notifications about a new device or connection.

Evaluate the Apps and Their Privacy Concerns

To ensure a comprehensive app privacy policy, Apple is already taking a lot of measures including forcing the app publishers to update their apps with latest versions and disclosing what data their apps are using and for what purpose.

This gives you the ability to evaluate the privacy policy of an app right from the App Store. In the App Store app, after finding an app you can scroll down to App Privacy to get every specific detail about the data they collect and specific purpose they use it for.

After iOS 14.3 How Can You Choose The Right Apps With Optimum Privacy?

There can be hardly any doubt about the fact that iOS 14.3 comes with several key privacy labels that are highly relevant and useful.  But then how can an end user decide about the safe and secure apps in terms of privacy. Well, the right way to judge is to question what purpose this piece of information will serve for what the app delivers? For example, why does a TV app need your location information?

Whatever options for privacy settings you choose, you can always make changes in them by going to privacy settings. Obviously, these wider, multifaceted privacy labels coming with the apps is a huge boost to the user privacy and overall data safety. But just by depending on privacy labels you can't optimise your data safety and safeguard privacy. App privacy measures coming with iOS 14 is just a policy enforced measure.

In general, any app that just after using once or twice tries to gather a lot of personal data such as name, location, contact number, email address and so on, you should consider it as an alarm and take necessary safeguards and put it under the strictest measures for privacy protection. 

Conclusion

With iOS 14, iPhone users have gained unprecedented control over their personal data and this is a great beginning towards a safe digital future. Hopefully, there must be more measures to come.

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