How to use your phone's privacy tools

Worried about how your data is being used by apps and websites? Apple iOS 15 and that of Google Android 12 operating systems have step...


Worried about how your data is being used by apps and websites? Apple iOS 15 and that of Google Android 12 operating systems have stepped up their privacy controls this year to give you more warnings – and options – when a site or service wants to use personal information like location or browser clicks. Here’s a quick guide to those settings.

On iOS or Android, open the Settings app by pressing (or by voice) and select Privacy. You’ll find multiple screens, menus, and switches to restrict access to phone hardware (like the microphone) and software (like your contact list) on an application-by-application basis. Android 12 includes a privacy dashboard to show what the apps have done, as well as shortcuts to manage the information Google collects and stores in its Google account.

If you are curious, Apple and Google have posted statements about how they use your data. Keep in mind that blocking web trackers and location information can make your free apps work differently, and many news and cultural sites use tracking software. But if you want more control over your information, here are some specific categories to reach.

Your phone’s location services feature can pinpoint your location on a map, which is vital for things like showing directions. However, in recent versions of ios and Android, you can share an approximate location instead of a specific location for a little more privacy.

On an iOS 15 device, open the Settings app and navigate to Privacy, then to Rental services then System Services. here, you can deactivate or activate location services and control which third-party applications (including software from Google) can use your contact details – or when they have permission to use this information. Scroll down to the bottom and select System Services to see how iPhone uses your location, such as collecting your “Important locations” as your personal address; you can turn this option off or clear the history if you find it invasive.

On a phone running Android 12, open the Settings app and tap Location to open orders and see which apps have permission to use your location. Tap on Location Services to access more settings; you can also manage the Position history decor that records your peregrinations. (Google’s business model includes serving personalized ads and services based on your personal information, so your user experience may be affected.)

Apples Transparency of application monitoring characteristic warns you when an application wants to monitor your online activity, generally for the purpose targeted advertising. In iOS 15 settings, tap Privacy, then Track to access the controls. (While Apple’s own advertising platform complaints do not share personally identifiable data with others, you can opt out of these ads in the Apple Advertising area of ​​the privacy settings.)

Credit…Apple; Google

In Android 12, open Settings and select Privacy to access a plethora of controls, including the Ads option for avoid targeted ads by removing its Advertising ID. And this month, Google announced that Android will automatically disable permissions for apps that you haven’t used for a while.

Browsers have been used for decades to Track you through cookies and other codes that observe your activity for use in marketing and advertising. (Safari Private navigation and Chrome Incognito The mode prevents a browsing session from being stored, but it doesn’t help browser trackers much.)

Credit…Apple; Google

Apple’s Safari browser includes tools block tracking; go to Settings, then Safari, and scroll down to Privacy & Security to make adjustments. Google’s Chrome browser settings also have a Privacy and Security section, where you can request that sites Do not follow you, although some do anyway.

Credit…DuckDuck Go

Switch to a privacy-focused browser app like Courageous Where DuckDuck Go is another way to drop many web trackers. DuckDuckGo recently announced its own Application tracking protection tool and an e-mail protection function for Android sound editing DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser; these are in a phase of public testing.

In some messages, advertisers may use a “tracking pixel” – a small hidden image which returns to the sender when you open the message (among other things). Apple’s iOS 15 includes his own tool to help block mail trackers. To activate it, go to Settings, then in Mail, select Privacy protection and tap on Protect email activity.

Credit…Apple; Google

In the Gmail app for Android Where ios, you can prevent images from automatically loading and squeaking during your activity. Just tap the Menu icon in the upper left corner, choose Settings, then your account name, and in the Images area, choose the “Ask before showing external images…” option. And you can always block or unsubscribe unwanted messages from the mailing list.

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