All you iPhone users should have received a notification to install the latest iOS update. While this update comes with the much anticipated Dark Mode and Apple Arcade upgrades, there are quite a few security and privacy features to pay attention to — and some cool enhancements to check out as well.
Yes, iOS security has been somewhat of a joke in recent memory, and the first few versions didn't seem to be much improved, but with the recent updates, further advancements in location data, tracking and contact security, iOS 13 is certainly making its case to users.
Here are five iOS 13 features that can be used to keep both you and your device(s) secure:
Keep your contacts private
If you've already installed the new iOS 13 update, you may have noticed a small change to your contact permissions. Apps that have access to your contacts will no longer be allowed to read the notes you may have attached to your friends and family. Again, it may seem like a small change but it can be more significant than you realize — especially if you've used these fields to store sensitive or personal information.
Your brother's gate code, your spouse's debit PIN and other private notes have been open to third-party apps for quite some time. Remember who has access when you read about data breaches and hacks. Thankfully, Apple has put a stop to potential threats with this new iOS version.
Apple has taken yet another step towards anti-tracking within its Safari browser. By preventing cross-site tracking and browser fingerprinting, it's now more difficult for ads to track Safari users across the internet.
Their effort to stop ad tracking couldn't have come at a better time, as the struggle to escape targeted ads has become more difficult. iOS 13 already has its cross-site tracking turned on by default, that way users are immediately shielded without having to lift a finger.
Much like Google and Facebook's sign-in processes, Apple's new sign-in protocol is meant to keep your information secure by refusing to track and store your data for ads. You can sign in using touch or Face ID, or just by entering the passcode linked to your device. Apple will even go as far as generating a random address to use whenever you sign up or log into your apps.
This spares you from receiving those annoying spam emails in your primary inbox. There's no longer a need to create a bogus account to protect your privacy or shut out unwanted emails. Apple simply puts up a firewall between you and the numerous services you use, which limits the spread of your personal info.
Stop Bluetooth snooping
You may have noticed there are some apps that don't ask for your location, but that doesn't mean they won't try to obtain it through different means? Wi-Fi networks and other Bluetooth devices are the only apps needed to pinpoint your location. iOS 13 appears to have just put an end to that.
With the latest update, you will now receive prompts to allow or deny an app's access to your devices' Bluetooth functionality. This goes for every app. You'll be amazed at how many apps ask for access to your Bluetooth that don't actually need it.
You can view a list of apps that have asked for access to your Bluetooth by going to your Settings>Privacy>Bluetooth.
Remove location data from your photos
Since we're on the subject of location tracking, it's important to note that whenever you take pictures, your iPhone stores the exact location you were in and saves the info as metadata in the photo file. This can be potentially harmful to users since anyone can see sensitive or private locations, such as your home or work address.
This is the kind of information criminals look for on social media. Now, with just a few swipes and taps, you can strip a photo of any location data before you share it on social media platforms. Go to your device's Settings>Privacy>Location Services>Camera and choose "Never."
If you crack your iPhone screen, Apple has a warning for you
If you've just bought the new iPhone 11 released about a week ago and have already cracked the screen, you might want to rethink how you handle your phone. You also might rethink the steps you take to get it repaired.