There has been a huge amount of tumult due to the recent cybersecurity failures that involved Equifax, Facebook and even Twitter. But the brighter side is that we are now more aware and alert about our privacy and data security than ever.
Apple consumers especially iOS device users, are comparatively secured than other technologies as Apple puts customer privacy first. However, as users we need to learn more about many privacy settings in iPhone especially within Safari (as it is the default browser used by almost all iPhone users).
We must know that the ISP (Internet Service Provider) records every move we make while we browse the world wide web. But if we take proper precautions, it can lessen the amount of data we are giving off during our online activity. Fortunately, as we are using Safari, some privacy settings are configured by default. However, there are still 6 Safari privacy settings that can be modified to ensure further secure browsing.
6 Safari Privacy Settings To Ensure Safe Browsing: –
In this article, we have talked about 6 Safari privacy settings that if followed, can prevent companies from gathering data via our online activities in a better way. Read On!
1. Your iPhone’s Passcode
Although your Safari browser doesn’t require passcodes, your iPhone certainly does. Someone with wicked intentions can easily misuse your iPhone and Safari browser if it’s not protected with passcodes. No level of privacy settings will work in such cases if your iPhone is not guarded with a passcode.
Sensitive data found on the web browser for example, iOS password manager and iCloud keychain can be hidden via Face ID or Touch ID. However, if the intruder knows your iPhone’s passcode, it will take only few minutes for that person to change your biometric keys to theirs.
We believe that now you will want to ensure that your passcode is not weak. Strong passcodes keep intruders away.
2. Siri and Search
Integrating Siri and Search is a smart way to tell Siri about your search habits. It helps the voice assistant to understand your search behavior and provide suggestions and predictions in the Search.
However, for users who hold privacy-conscious interests, it may sound a little too much. Therefore, if you do not wish to share this information with Siri, you can switch off this integration by following these steps: –
- Navigate to Settings
- Tap on Safari
- Select Siri & Search and then simply toggle to switch to turn off “Search & Siri Suggestions.”
Disabling Search & Suggestions may still show Siri suggestion on Safari while typing. However, the reason behind it is “Safari Suggestions” that utilizes Siri to suggest websites according to user queries.
There will be still instances where Siri will provide recommendations based on your iPhone activity. But, at least your Safari will not make any suggestions sourced from your personal data. This will certainly bring more peace of mind to you.
3. Choose DuckDuckGo as Search Engine
Search engines play an important role in protecting privacy of its users. Thus, it’s necessary to choose and use the right search engine that puts your privacy at first.
The whole world knows Google’s nature of gathering user data when one searches anything through its search engine be it in the ‘incognito mode’. However, privacy-minded users don’t need to use Google and can switch to other more secure search engines. DuckDuckGo is one such tool that intensifies Safari privacy settings.
‘DuckDuckGo’ search engine was introduced as an answer to Google’s strategy of gathering and controlling user data. The ‘DuckDuckGo’ search engine doesn’t save user data and doesn’t display advertisements sourced from your search history. It even does not keep a record of your activities irrespective of whether you’re browsing in the public or incognito mode.
How to Set ‘DuckDuckGo’ as your favorite search engine in Safari: –
- Go to Settings
- Choose Safari
- Select Search Engine and tap on DuckDuckGo.
It’s pretty DuckDuckGo!
4. The AutoFill Feature
The AutoFill feature allows users to insert details into web forms conveniently. In the Safari browser, with AutoFill enabled, the browser can retrieve Contact Cards from your iPhone. A Contact Card includes your name, email address, date of birth and much more. AutoFill also manages your usernames and passwords while you fill your card details online.
Strictly speaking, this feature may invite security risks like compromising passwords of your email address and social media accounts. A person if gains control over your iPhone, can register for services, make purchases under your account and do a lot more things without your permission.
If you don’t want to face any risk, you can disable AutoFill by following these steps: –
- Go to Settings
- Choose Safari
- Choose AutoFill and make settings as per your preferences
5. Block Pop-ups
Pop-ups on your mobile browser are very annoying. They can interrupt your activities and closing them repeatedly consumes effort and time. Therefore, it’s a good notion to block them permanently.
Sadly, there are also websites that ask users to enable pop-ups while browsing. But if that doesn’t apply to you, you can disable pop-ups by following these steps: –
- Go to Settings
- Choose Safari
- Enable Block Pop-ups
Note: – There’s also a dedicated section to modify Safari Privacy Settings. It is tiled as Privacy & Security. The above-mentioned settings can be located inside this section.
6. Fraudulent Website Warning
Although we have covered all important points that can help you keep your online sessions as private as possible, you still can’t trust anything completely while you are browsing online. We are talking about “Fraudulent Websites “. Therefore, “Fraudulent Website Warning” can prove as a great tool while you are browsing online. The tool is inbuilt in Safari alerts the users whenever he/she visits a malicious website.
When you enable “Fraudulent Website Warning” in safari, your iPhone will record information from the websites and supply to services such as Tencent Safe Browsing and Google Safe Browsing. Safari is then informed whether this website is safe or fraudulent. If the website is not legitimate, the browser will receive a pop-up that will ask you to leave the website.
Enabling this feature will help you visit only genuine websites in future.
Other than these, here are some Bonus Tips that can fortify your solutions: –
- It is recommended by security experts to “clear history and website data” on Safari. You can do this by going to Settings > Safari and tapping on “clear history and website data” option. It will give you a pop-up that says “Clear History And Data”. Choose “Clear History And Data” to finish the process.
- Ignoring unwanted access requests- Some websites request for access of some resources like location, phone, contact or Camera and media files. Such request can be declined in case you don’t want to use that specific functionality of the site that requires the resource.
- Enable “Prevent Cross-Site Tracking” on Safari to stop websites tracking your online activities even after you have left the website.
Inculcate these 6 Safari privacy settings and you’re good to go for a safer browsing session on Safari. Share with us if any experiences you have had about data breach in the comments section below. Happy Browsing!