How to Block Tracking on Your iPhone for Better Privacy and Security

Devendra Chande

With countless apps and websites tracking your online activities and personal information, it’s essential to take control of your digital footprint. Privacy and security are fundamentals at Apple. This is why Apple allows users to block tracking for better privacy. Here, we are going to show you how to block tracking on your iPhone.

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Enable App Tracking Transparency

Starting with iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a new privacy feature called App Tracking Transparency (ATT). This requires apps to ask for your permission before tracking your activity across other companies’ apps and websites. When an app wants to track you, you’ll see a prompt with options to “Allow Tracking” or “Ask App Not to Track”.

To enable ATT on your iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings => Privacy & Security => Tracking
  2. Make sure “Allow Apps to Request to Track” is toggled on
  3. Below this, you’ll see a list of apps that have requested permission to track. Toggle off any apps you don’t want tracking you.
  4. If you don’t want any apps to even ask permission to track, you can toggle off “Allow Apps to Request to Track”. This will automatically deny tracking for all apps.

Adjust Location Services Settings

Many apps use your iPhone’s location data to provide relevant information or features. However, some apps may access your location even when it’s not necessary. To control which apps can access your location:

  1. Go to Settings => Privacy & Security => Location Services
  2. You’ll see a list of apps that have requested to use your location. Tap on an app.
  3. Choose “Never” to prevent access, “Ask Next Time” to be prompted each time, “While Using the App” to allow access only when the app is open, or “Always” to allow access anytime.
  4. Repeat for other apps. For maximum privacy, set location access to “Never” for most apps.

Limit Ad Tracking

iOS has an advertising identifier (IDFA) that allows advertisers to track your activity to serve personalized ads. You can limit ad tracking to reduce this:

  1. Go to Settings => Privacy & Security => Apple Advertising
  2. Toggle off “Personalized Ads”

This will make it more difficult for advertisers to build a profile about you. You’ll still see ads, but they’ll be less targeted.

Block Cross-Site Tracking in Safari

Many websites use cookies and other methods to track your browsing activity across the web. Safari has built-in features to block this cross-site tracking:

  1. Go to Settings => Safari
  2. Under “Privacy & Security”, toggle on “Prevent Cross-Site Tracking”
  3. For even more privacy, you can also toggle on “Block All Cookies”

With these settings enabled, Safari will use machine learning to identify trackers and prevent them from profiling you across websites. Note that blocking all cookies may cause some websites to not function properly.

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Use iCloud Private Relay

If you subscribe to iCloud+, you can enable iCloud Private Relay to hide your IP address and encrypt your web browsing traffic in Safari. This makes it harder for websites and your network provider to create a detailed profile about you.

To turn on iCloud Private Relay:

  1. Go to Settings => [your name] => iCloud > Private Relay
  2. Toggle on “Private Relay

iCloud Private Relay is currently in beta and only works in Safari. Some websites may not be fully compatible with it yet.

Review App Privacy Reports

Starting with iOS 15.2, you can view App Privacy Reports to see how apps are using your data. This shows you which apps have accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts in the last 7 days. It also lists which domains the apps have contacted.

To view App Privacy Reports:

  1. Go to Settings => Privacy & Security
  2. Scroll down to “App Privacy Report”
  3. Tap “Turn On App Privacy Report”

Regularly review these reports to ensure apps aren’t accessing data they shouldn’t be. If you see any suspicious activity, consider uninstalling the app.

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Devendra is a full-time writer at ConsideringaApple and he is fond of new things in the tech world. He loves to read novels and write poems. This adventure-seeking guy is a hodophile who has an aim to explore all the beautiful mountains, oceans, cultures, traditions, and foods this world has to offer. Since the release of the first iPhone, he believes in Jobs' vision and praises every Apple product.
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