How to use privacy protection tools on your phone

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

In iOS or Android, open the Settings app by tapping (or by voice) and selecting Privacy. You’ll find several screens, menus, and switches to restrict access to your phone’s hardware (like your microphone) and software (like your contact list) on an app-by-app basis. Android 12 includes a privacy dashboard to display apps that have been updated, as well as shortcuts to manage the information Google collects and stores in Google Account.

If you are curious, Apple and Google posted statements about how they use your data. Remember that blocking web trackers and location information can cause your free apps to behave 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 access.

Your phone’s location services feature can pinpoint your location on a map, which is important for things like providing driving directions. However, in recent versions of iOS and Androidyou can share an approximate location instead of an exact location for a bit more security.

On an iOS 15 device, open the Settings app and go to Privacy, then Location Services and then System Services. Hereyou can turn location services off or on and control which third-party apps (including Google software) can use your coordinates – or when they have the right to use that information. Scroll down the entire list and select System Services to see how iPhone uses your location, such as collecting “Important position” such as your home address; you can turn off or clear history if you find it intrusive.

On an Android 12 phone, open the Settings app and tap Location to open the controls and to see which app has permission to use your location. Tap Location Services to get to other settings; you can also manage Location History Set record of your wanderings. (Google’s business model includes serving customized ads and services based on your personal information, so your user experience may suffer.)

Apple Transparency of App Tracking feature warn you when an app wants to track your online activity, usually for the purpose of targeted advertising. In iOS 15 Settings, tap Privacy, then tap Tracking to access the controls. (While Apple’s own advertising platform claim do not share personally identifiable data with othersyou can turn off those ads in the Apple Ads area of ​​Privacy settings.)

Credit…Apple; Google

In Android 12, open Settings and select Privacy for a range of controls, including the option to Advertise for avoid targeted ads by deleting a person Advertising ID. And this month, Google announced that Android will automatically turn off permissions for apps you haven’t used in a while.

Browsers have been used for decades to monitor you through cookies and other codes observe your activity for use in marketing and advertising. (Safari of Private Browsing and of Chrome Incognito mode keeps a surfing session from being cached, but these don’t help much with browser trackers.)

Credit…Apple; Google

Apple’s Safari Browser tools included to block tracking; go to Settings then Safari and scroll down to Privacy & Security to make the adjustments. The settings for Google’s Chrome browser also have a Privacy and Security section where you can request those sites do not track you, although some still do.


Switch to a privacy-focused browser app like brave or DuckDuckGo is another way to get rid of many web trackers. DuckDuckGo recently announced App Tracking Protection Tool and an email protection feature for its Android version DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser; They are in public beta.

In some announcements, advertisers may use “Tracking Pixels” – a small hidden image reported back to the sender when you open the message (among different things). Apple’s iOS 15 included its own tool to help block mail trackers. To enable the feature, go to Settings, then Mail, select Privacy Protection, and tap Protect Mail Activity.

Credit…Apple; Google

In the Gmail app for Android or iOS, you can prevent the image from automatically loading and buzzing during your activity. Simply tap open the Menu icon in the top left corner, select Settings, then your account name, and in the Images area, select the “Ask before displaying external images…” option. And you can always block or unsubscribe from messages on the unsolicited mailing list. How to use privacy protection tools on your phone

Fry Electronics Team

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