Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but your iPhone is watching you 24/7. Many of the conveniences that come with your smartphone come at a cost to your privacy and security. And while you can’t own one of these pocket computers and be totally off the grid, there are a number of ways you can share a little less information with it, as detailed by Life Hacker.
Here are five of the easiest ways to keep your iPhone in check.
1. Use a mixed alphanumeric passcode.
Under Settings, there is an option for Touch ID & Passcode. An alphanumeric passcode, consisting of both numbers and letters is more secure than choosing one or the other. The mix adds a layer of complexity that is harder to hack. Just make sure it’s not too hard for you to remember.
2. Lock screen access.
Again, under Settings and then Touch ID & Passcode, you can choose to lock screen access. This controls home screen functions like your Apple Wallet, Siri, and messages. If you adjust these settings, no one can access these functions without your new, super confusing alphanumeric passcode.
3. Turn off tracking.
Under Settings, check the Privacy tab. There is an option for Location Services, which will take you to System Services where you can turn off “frequent locations.” This feature tracks where you go often under the guise of curating your map searches. Ever wonder why it knows exactly where you ordered pizza three nights this week? Your phone is stalking you, and it knows your vices.
4. Turn off extraneous location services.
Most apps have an option to share your location, but not all of them require that feature. For example, Candy Crush definitely doesn’t need to know that you set your high score while sitting on the toilet in Norfolk, Virginia, after eating Chipotle for lunch. Under Settings, Privacy, you can see location. Here you can swipe to turn off location services for individual apps.
5. Don’t use touch ID.
This is more in case you get caught doing dubious things on your phone. The laws regarding touch ID are behind the mark, but as it stands, cops can force you to thumb-print sign into your phone, but they can’t make you give up your passcode. Plus, who knows what having a digital record of your thumb print could mean if your phone ever got hacked. To fix that, head to Settings, under Touch ID & Passcode you can and disable that feature.