If you have a smartphone, and these days, almost everyone has at least one, you’re incredibly easy to track.
That’s especially true if you have more than a handful of apps on your phone, because apps are notoriously bad about demanding access to details about you they don’t need in order to function.
From the app maker’s perspective, it’s easy to see the attraction in demanding access to more information than they need. They can aggregate the data and resell it, which allows them to continue offering their product for free. Of course, ‘free’ is an elastic concept these days, because the hidden costs of making your personal information easily accessible can be high indeed.
While both Apple and Google have been working hard to improve privacy on their devices, Apple has really gone the extra mile, and with their most recent OS update, iOS 14.3, they’ve taken user privacy to a whole new level.
Here are a few examples:
Your Camera and Microphone
An almost shocking number of apps try to gain access to your camera and microphone, which means that they could turn either of those on without the user’s knowledge. The latest iOS update includes a small green dot that appears on your display screen anytime your phone’s camera is activated, and a similar orange dot that appears anytime your microphone is activated.
Even better, if you head to your phone’s Control Center, you’ll be able to see the last app to access either of those functions, allowing you to make a decision about whether or not you want to continue using that app, or uninstall it.
More Control Over Access To Your Photos
In a similar vein, a fair number of apps want to get access to the photos you have stored on your phone. Once you install the latest iOS update, you’ll be able to go into Settings and Privacy, where you’ll find a “Photos” subsection, which allows you to categorize your photos and selectively block access, even to apps you have previously granted access to.
In addition to those things, Apple is now requiring app developers to fill out a comprehensive app privacy form that outlines exactly what data the app collects and how the company plans to use it. Since that information is made available to users who download those apps, you’ll be able to make better decisions about what apps you want to install.
There are a great many other improvements in the latest iOS update, making it well worth getting. Download the latest today.