How to block ads tracking on your iPhone

A recent article The Washington Post by Geoffrey Fowler described the shock of the author when he discovered how many of his iPhone apps collected and uploaded information about his use while he slept.


As we all know, data is a huge product nowadays. If you use a telephone, laptop or other computer device (unless you are a security expert or high-end hacker with access to advanced blocking tools & # 39; s), you pay for your apps by contributing marketing and other information to the companies that supply them.

As the Fowler article shows, iPhone users are not immune to this, no matter how much Apple assures its customers that it is looking for their privacy. But there are some simple ways to minimize the amount of tracking that app vendors can perform and the amount of data they can use.

Enable limit ad tracking

You may not be able to get rid of advertisements completely, but you can provide the advertisers with as little information as possible about you. Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) places the kibosh on so-called & # 39; interest-based ads & # 39 ;, in other words, ads that you target based on your search history and other usage statistics. Turn it off and you may receive advertisements that are not at all suitable for your needs, but at least marketers will not bombard you with advertisements for pets if you have just purchased a poodle.

iphone limit ad tracking

  • Go to Settings
  • Select "Privacy"
  • Select "Advertising" (at the bottom of the Settings screen)
  • Switch & # 39; Limit Ad Tracking & # 39; in

LAT is not perfect. Marketers can also use a system with the name fingerprinting, which tracks information about your device type, model, provider, and other data made public by your browser. Fingerprints are not as useful for marketers as ad tracking, but it can still offer a lot of interesting information. Apple has worked on blocking some of this information, but much of it is still available.

If you want to see how effectively LAT protects your phone, you can try the Panopticlick test, which is offered by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It checks, among other things, fingerprints of devices. I played it on an Apple iPhone XS after turning on LAT, and I got a "partial protection" result.

Lock Safari

If you use the Safari browser on your iPhone, there are several things you can do to make it more secure.

lock-up safari

lock-up safari

  • Go to Settings"
  • Select & # 39; Safari & # 39; and scroll down to the & # 39; Privacy & Security & # 39;
  • Switch & # 39; Prevention of cross-site tracking & # 39; in (which means that advertisers and other external content providers cannot follow you from one site to another)
  • Switch & # 39; Block all cookies & # 39; in. The cookies that are collected by different websites can contain a lot of information about how you use the site, what information you place in it, etc. By blocking cookies, you prevent that data from being collected.

However, you will probably make it very uncomfortable for yourself. Your visits to sites are not recorded, so for example you cannot visit a playlist again or buy back the same T-shirt that you purchased last year. Some sites will even refuse access if you do not allow them to collect cookies. It is your choice.

Disable Refresh Background App

According to Apple, the reason to have Background App Refresh enabled is to allow suspended apps (apps that are currently not running) to "check for updates and new content." According to Disconnect, the privacy app company quotes Geoffrey Fowler in his article, it also allows apps to collect tradable tracking data and send that data even when you are not using the app. Interestingly, iPhones come with Background App Refresh enabled, but it's not very difficult to disable.

  • Go to Settings"
  • Select "General"
  • Select "Background App Refresh"
  • You will see a list of all apps that use this feature and they will all be enabled. Find "Background App Refresh" at the top of the page and tap it.
  • You will be taken to a page where you can enable it for Wi-Fi & Cellular data, only for Wi-Fi or you can disable it completely. Select "Off".
  • If you go back to the previous page, you will see that all the switches for the different apps have disappeared completely.

You may want to be selective about which apps can run in the background. Some apps may not work properly otherwise. For example, Google Photos does not automatically back up your movie roll unless this feature is enabled. So if you want, you can leave "Background App Refresh" and then choose which apps you want to disable.

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