That is, your contacts, your location, your photos, your emails, your text messages and even your bank account, can be found on that smartphone in your pocket.
It is an incomparable collection of things that, taken together, make you.
And, if you've paid attention, he knows that a seemingly endless combination of unscrupulous companies and data breaches means he said he is perpetually on the verge of being put on permanent display.
There are some small and privacy-focused steps you can take to mitigate your risk without having to go live in the forest.
As the New York Times demonstrated in December, many mobile applications constantly collect user locations throughout the day and then share that information with numerous third-party companies.
The invasiveness is amazing: "It needs a few yards and, in some cases, is updated more than 14,000 times a day."
Applications that request unrestricted access to your location data, for example, to inform you of the specific weather of your location, are some of the most obvious culprits. Go ahead and disable this access.
On your iPhone, go to Settings> Privacy> Location services. More than likely, you will see that the function is activated.
On this screen
You will find a list of applications that have requested or have access to your location data. Unless it is for a service that really needs to know where it is, such as a map application, you must individually change each individual application configuration to "Never".
In the case of something like Google Maps or Lyft, change it to "When using the application." This means that the application in question will not know exactly where you are, even when you are not using it. Whatever you do, do not leave any application configured in "Always", especially if it is a meteorological application.
Oh, and did you know that your camera is embedding your location in the photos? You can also turn it off.
2. Your camera
It is likely that numerous applications on your iPhone have requested, and have been granted, access to your camera. For some of these, the reasoning is obvious.
Do you want to be able to use Snapchat filters?
Well, the application needs access to your camera. That makes sense.
Again, go to Settings> Privacy> Camera and check which applications you have granted access to the camera. Do you see anything there that makes no sense? Go ahead and turn it off
3. The microphone
You may be surprised, and not in a pleasant way, that your phone's applications have requested access to the microphone.
For example, Do you want Drivetime to access your microphone? Do not? Because if you downloaded it, then it could.
To disable individual application access to your microphone, go to Settings> Privacy> Microphone and start turning things off.
Don't worry about overdoing it either, since you can always come back and turn it on later if you determine that something like Google Maps really needs your microphone.
4. Ad tracking
Did you know that the iPhone has an option to limit ad tracking? Well, it does, but you have to make sure it's on. Go back to Settings> Privacy and then scroll to Advertising. Select "Limit ad tracking" to activate the feature.
While there, go ahead and press “Reset the advertising identifier”.
5. Live Photos tells you
Do you use the Live Photos settings on your iPhone? Do you know what that is even?
“With Live Photos, your iPhone records what happens 1.5 seconds before and after taking a picture,” Apple explains.
“What you get is more than a great photo; It is a moment captured with movement and sound. ”
In other words, your "images" are actually 3-second videos.
Many people have this feature enabled without realizing it and, as a result, instead of sharing a nice photo with friends and family, they run the risk of sharing something … more.
Potential Live Photos traps are vast. Imagine talking about trash with your friends while someone takes a quick photo. That photo, which is a live photo, is then iMessaged, and now everyone who receives it has a recording of Audio from his trash talk. Do not risk.
6. Block message previews
Do you receive many iMessages?
Like most people, you expect these digital reflections to be private exchanges between the sender and the recipient. But, of course, that is not always the case.
When you receive a message and your iPhone is locked, your phone will usually preview that message on the lock screen. Not only whose message is it, but also part of the message content.
With the habit that people put their smartphones upside down at tables in the conference room or at desks that are unfortunately becoming widespread, you are an inconvenient message far from a catastrophe.
Imagine you are applying for a new job and your partner wants to know how the interview went. Pretty harmless, true? Well, not if you are in a meeting with your current boss and the following preview of the message appears, clearly visible to everyone, directly on the lock screen of your phone: "Did you get the job?!?"
But you can disable that preview functionality. Tap your way to Settings> Notifications and then scroll to Messages. In the Messages configuration, there is an option “Show previews”. Set it to "Never."
That way, you can still see that you have a message, and even whose message it is, but its content will not be hung up for all to see.
Now, rinse and repeat with any other service that you don't want to filter on your lock screen.
7. Your humble voicemail
Did you forget your voicemail?
Hackers did not. In the 2018 DEF CON, investigators demonstrated the ability to forcefully attack voicemail accounts and use that access to restore victims' Google and PayPal accounts (among others).
So what can you do about it?
Set a random 9-digit voicemail password. Go to Settings> Phone and scroll down to "Change voicemail password". Your iPhone should allow you to choose a 9-digit code, which will help you protect your privacy.
I hope I helped you a little, at least, not to feel observed by your iPhone greetings.