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Security & privacy

Suspect someone is spying on your texts and apps? Do this now

Pretty much everything you do online is tracked or recorded and used to create a database on you. Most companies claim they need this information to serve you with targeted ads, while others sell it.

Your iPhone has built-in privacy and security settings you should look at. You can browse privately, stop third-party tracking, filter messages from strangers and more. Tap or click here for five iPhone security settings you need to change now.

You can easily share various bits of information with others through your iPhone, such as your location, photos and calendar. But there may come a time when you want to stop. Here’s how.

Quick checkup

With iOS 16, Apple introduced Safety Check, which lets you quickly stop sharing your information or review and update sharing with people and apps.

Safety Check can be used to modify information associated with your Apple ID. You can use Safety Check to:

  • Review and remove devices signed into your account.
  • Review and update trusted phone numbers.
  • Change your Apple ID password.
  • Update your emergency contacts.
  • Update your device passcode and Face ID or Touch ID information.

Another helpful Safety Check tool is Manage Sharing & Access. Use it when you want to examine sharing in more detail. It helps you review and reset information you’re sharing with people, review and reset the information apps have access to and update your device and Apple ID security.

Here’s how to use Safety Check to review the information you’re sharing:

  • Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Safety Check.
  • Tap Manage Sharing & Access. Progress is saved as you go.
  • Do one of the following to stop sharing information with other people:
    • Tap People, select people in the list, review the information shared with people, then decide which information you want to stop sharing with selected people.
    • Tap Information, select apps in the list, review the information shared with people, then decide which information you want to stop sharing with selected people.
  • Do one of the following to stop sharing information with other apps:
    • Tap Apps, select apps in the list, review the information shared with them, then decide which information you want to stop sharing with the selected apps.
    • Tap Information, select the information being shared in the list, review the information shared with apps, then decide which information you want to stop sharing with the selected apps.
  • Tap Continue, then do any of the following:
    • Review and remove devices signed into your account.
    • Review and update trusted phone numbers.
    • Change your Apple ID password.
    • Update your emergency contacts.
    • Update your device passcode or Face ID or Touch ID information.
  • Click Done.
  • When you’ve finished, make sure you stopped certain sharing and reset specific settings. See verify you’ve stopped sharing.

When you need to stop sharing right now

Emergency Reset is another tool within Safety Check. Use it to stop sharing everything immediately. It also allows you to review and reset settings associated with your Apple ID.

Here’s how to use Emergency Reset:

  • Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Safety Check.
  • Tap Emergency Reset, then follow the onscreen instructions. Progress is saved as you go.
  • When you’ve finished, make sure you stopped all sharing and reset specific settings. See verify you’ve stopped sharing.

Got locked out of your Apple ID account? Tap or click here for instructions to recover it.

Get out of Safety Check quick

The Safety Check menu features a Quick Exit button which crashes the Settings app and returns to the home screen. Anyone who opens the Settings app afterward will go to the default page. This covers up your tracks if you were using Safety Check.

Look for the Quick Exit button at the top-right of the screen in Safety Check.

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