Six Privacy Settings to Change in iOS8

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Apple’s smartphone market share may be trailing behind the current heavyweight champion Samsung, but that has done little to curb the frenzy that surrounds their product releases. The highly anticipated keynotes made legendary by founder Steve Jobs receive media publicity that rival premiers of summer blockbusters. The announcement of iOS8 at the WWDC this past June is an example of that. The event had Apple loyalists waiting anxiously for the new OS to power their devices and provide them never before seen functionalities.

With the release of the new iOS, fans finally have their hands on the much awaited software. However, what’s important to note is that while iOS8 brings tons of new functionalities to all compatible devices; it brings its own set of nuances too. Privacy, for instance, has become a major cause of concern for smartphone junkies who spend a good chunk of their time glued to their touch devices. iOS8 has introduced many new features that frequently tap your current location to provide you with customized services. In addition, the renowned software brings with it new privacy settings, options to determine how long to save user data, message expiration features akin to Snapchat and finally the much wanted private browsing option.

However, before you enjoy all the suave new features and sync the new OS with your iTunes; here are six privacy features you need to verify, and if required, change.

Restrict Location Tracking

If you see an app requesting location tracking permission in the form of pop ups and notifications then it means it needs your current location to provide you with personalized content.

To strengthen privacy select ‘Don’t Allow’ when the message displays. These settings can always be changed later from the main ‘Settings’ menu.

Prevent Apps from Uploading Your Personal Information

Everything from your contacts, photos, email and calendar are examples of personal data. You can allow certain trusted apps like Twitter to access your contacts, for example, to notify you when a friend of yours has joined Twitter. However, keep in mind that these apps also upload data to their respective servers.

To prevent privacy infringement, simply go to ‘Settings’ > Privacy and select the on/off toggle corresponding to each app to prevent access to you information.

Enable Find My iPhone

One of the best iOS apps to come out of Cupertino; Find my iPhone lets users track and locate their iPhone in case it is lost or stolen. Users are advised to turn on the handy feature as soon as they upgrade to iOS8.

To do that, simply go to Settings > iCloud > Find my iPhone and flip the switch on.

Enable iMessage, Video and Voice Data to Expire

This new feature may seem borrowed from Snapchat’s playbook, but it is quite useful nonetheless. Users have the option of storing their messages in the form of text, audio or video permanently to enable self-destruct and remove traces of them from the iDevice after a specified amount of time.

To set the timer go to Settings > Messages > Keep Messages and set the timer according to your preferences.

Deletion of audio and video messages can be set using the same drill.

Prevent Location Sharing

Smartphones, in some instances, can be too efficient. Take location sharing for example. The technology fused in today’s mobile devices essentially turns them into homing beacons that give away your location easily.

To prevent iOS8 from doing that go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services à Share my Location and flip the switch off.

Prevent Markers from Accessing Your Location

Disabling location sharing might prevent your friends from viewing your location but to prevent marketers from pestering you with ads based on your location will require a completely different drill.

Go to Settings > Privacy > Advertising and turn on the ‘Limit Ad Tracking’ option.


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