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Privacy & your phone

Remember when protecting your privacy was as simple as pulling down your blinds or putting a lock on your mailbox? Privacy was something you got by using real life objects you could actually see and touch.

These days our privacy still needs to be protected – but one of the places we’re most at risk is our phone.

Most of us have multiple devices that are all linked and that all contain personal information we may not want to be shared.

Here’s some simple steps you can take to protect your privacy when you’re using your iPhone.

Private browsing

When you switch to ‘private browsing’, the browser you’re using won’t save search details, AutoFill information or websites you have visited to your phone or other devices linked to it. This means, should your devices be lost or stolen, or simply fall into the hands of someone you don’t know well, your private online activity will remain just that – private.

Here’s how to turn on private browsing:


  1. Open a browser
  2. Tap the tabs icon and select ‘Tab Groups’ list
  3. Tap ‘Private’ and then ‘Done’


  1. Open a browser
  2. Tap ‘More’ and then locate the ‘Incognito icon’ at the top

Hide my email

Most websites and apps require you to use an email address to access information or sign up for newsletters, but sometimes we don’t want to share our email address – what do you do?

‘Hide my email’ lets you create a random email address and allows you to keep your personal email private. Here’s how to use it:

  • Using Mail: open a new message window, tap the ‘From’ field, then choose ‘Hide My Email’ in the pop-up menu.
  • Using iCloud: log in to your account, tap ‘iCloud’, then tap ‘Hide My Email’.

Location settings

There’s a good reason why you have a Location setting on your phone. It helps deliver search results particular to your location, and it’s essential for navigation apps such as Maps. There are times, though, when you may not want third parties to know where you are, and that’s when it’s important to understand how to turn off the Location setting.

How to turn off location settings:

  1. Tap ‘Settings’ and then ‘Privacy’.
  2. Tap ‘Location Services’
  3. Slide the button to off

Find my phone

Anyone who has ever misplaced their phone or device knows how awesome ‘Find My Phone’ is. ‘Find My iPhone’ lets you use the ‘Find My’ app on another device to see your phone’s last known location. But what about when you sell an old device, give it to someone, or simply dispose of it? You may very well want to turn it off.

Here’s how to disable Find My Phone:

  1. Go to ‘Settings’ and then choose your account
  2. Tap on ‘Find My’
  3. Tap on ‘Find My iPhone’
  4. Slide the button to off

When you turn it off you will be asked to authenticate the request using your iCloud password.

These are simple and easy steps, but spending a few minutes tightening up the privacy on your phone will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that when you’re using your iPhone, you’re using it away from prying eyes.

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