How to Use Your Phone’s Privacy Protection Tools


Worried about how your data is used by apps and websites? Apple’s iOS 15 and Google Android 12 Operating systems have strengthened privacy controls this year to give you more alerts and options when a site or service wants to use personal information like location or browser clicks. Here is a quick guide to these settings.

On iOS or Android, tap (or sound) to open the Settings app and select Privacy. You will find various screens, menus and switches to restrict access to phone hardware (like microphone) and software (like your contact list) on an app basis. Android 12 includes: privacy board To show you what apps are doing, along with shortcuts to manage the information Google collects and stores google account.

if you’re wondering, Apple and Google They have published explanations about how they use your data. Be aware that blocking web trackers and location information may cause your free apps to work differently, and many news and cultural sites use tracking software. But if you want more control over your information, here are the specific categories to reach.

Your phone’s location services feature can pinpoint where you are on a map, and this is vital for things like giving directions. However, in recent versions iOS and Android, you can share an approximate location instead of an exact location for a little more privacy.

On an iOS 15 device, open the Settings app and tap Privacy, then Location Services and then System Services. Here, disable or enable location services and control which third-party apps (including Google’s software) can use your coordinates – or When they have permission to use this information. Scroll all the way down the list and select System Services to see how iPhone is using your location. “important places” such as your home address; You can turn this off or delete the history if you find it invasive.

On a phone running Android 12, open the Settings app and tap Location. open controls and see which apps are allowed to use your location. Tap Location Services to access more settings; You can also manage Location History The setting that saves your browsing. (Google’s business model includes serving customized ads and services based on your personal information, so your user experience may be affected.)

Apples Application Monitoring Transparency property warn you when an app wants to monitor your online activity, typically for purpose targeted advertising. In iOS 15 Settings, tap Privacy and then Tracking to get to the controls. (Duration Apple’s own advertising platform claims not to share personally identifiable data with others, you can turn these ads off in the Apple Ads area of ​​the Privacy settings.)

Credit…Apple; Google

On Android 12, open Settings and select Privacy to get to a number of controls, including the Ads option. avoiding targeted ads deleting someone advertising id. And this month Google will automatically turn off permissions for apps you haven’t used in a while.

Browsers for decades to watch to you via cookies and other codes monitors your activity for use in marketing and advertising. (Safari’s Private Browsing and Chrome hidden mode prevents a surfing session from being recorded, but these aren’t of much help to browser trackers.)

Credit…Apple; Google

Apple’s Safari browser includes tools to prevent tracking; Go to Settings, then Safari and go to Privacy & Security to make adjustments. Google’s Chrome browser also has a Privacy & Security section in its settings where you can request those sites. following you, although some do anyway.


Switching to a privacy-focused browser app like Brave or DuckDuckGo is another way to get rid of many web trackers. DuckDuckGo recently launched its own Application Monitoring Protection Tool and an email protection feature for Android version DuckDuckGo Privacy Scanner; these are in a public testing phase.

In some messages, advertisers “tracking pixel” – a small hidden image that gives feedback to the sender when you open the message (among them other things). Apple’s iOS 15 includes: own tool to help block mail trackers. To enable it, go to Settings, then Mail, select Privacy Protection and tap on Protect Mail Activity.

Credit…Apple; Google

in the Gmail app for Android or iOS, you can stop images from automatically loading and squeaking into your activity. Tap the Menu icon in the upper left corner, select Settings, then your account name, and in the Images area select “Ask before viewing external images…”. And you can always block or unsubscribe from spam list messages.


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