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iOS 8 Privacy Settings You Should Probably Change Right Now


iOS 8 is out and like previous versions there are hidden and concerning privacy settings.


Issue #1: The Keyboard Is Storing Your Passwords

Apple’s predictive text feature called “QuickType” is providing several suggestions to finish off words and sentences as you type.  QuickType does not memorize usernames and passwords however there may be times when you send important information via email/text message and it will remember.

To turn off QuickType, go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard and toggling off Predictive.

You can also hold down on the globe icon and toggle off Predictive, as well as swipe the predictive text boxes down with your finger so that they disappear within the keyboard.


Issue #2: Stored Cookies & Credit Card Information

Under Safari (browser) settings, you can improve your privacy settings including the following items.

  • Do Not Track: does not allow advertisers to track your every move
  • Block Cookies: does not allow websites to store your name, email, and preferences
  • Fraudulent Website Warning: warns when you try to open a website could be phishing


Issue #3: Apps Have Access To Your Camera, Photos, etc.

iOS 8 now allows you to manage which applications are granted access to the Camera, Background Location, etc., from Settings -> Privacy.

You can also manage access to all your Photos, Calendar, Microphone, and much more, all on an app-by-app basis.


Issue #4: Information Being Sent to Advertisers & Developers

Under Privacy, you can manage settings for Diagnostics & Usage and Advertising.

Like most other companies, Apple routinely gathers information about issues and usage in order to improve the performance of future operating systems.  Now if are not comfortable sharing this information, select Don’t Send from the Diagnostics & Usage settings page in Privacy.

You can also choose to disable a new iOS 8 feature which sends your information to app developers by just toggling off Share With App Developers to stop this.

In addition, you can also enable Limit Ad Tracking in Advertising which is used by advertisers to target ads to you based on the information they track.


Issue #5: Apple Is Tracking Your Every Move

Apple has a feature that tracks the physical locations you visit the most like home and your place of work so it can provide up-to-date traffic information in the Notification Center.

If you don’t want Apple tracking you, go to Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> System Services and disable Frequent Locations.


Issue #6: You’re Given App Suggestions When You Go Places

iOS 8 now places location-based app notifications directly on your lock screen. If you go to a bank, are near a Starbucks, or a grocery store, iOS 8 places a specific app on your lock screen. For example, if you’re within the vicinity of a Ralphs, you’ll receive a notification for its app.

Some will find this handy so retailers apps will enhance your shopping experience.  You can disable this feature by going to Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> System Services and turning off Location-Based Alerts.


Issue #7: Siri Can Be Accessed by Others

While Siri is helpful but she can also be exploited by other users. Anyone can grab your phone and activate Siri to send text messages, post to your Facebook, or even listen to your voicemails.

With “Hey Siri” feature on iOS 8—where you can use voice activation to bring up Siri without touching the device—it’s now even easier for others to call up the voice assistant.

To turn off the “Hey Siri” feature, go to Settings -> General -> Siri and disable Allow “Hey Siri”.


Issue #8: Your Location Can Be Shared with Anyone

From the Messages application, you can now share your exact location for a set amount of time.

While useful for sharing your location when on the move or tracking your kids, you could potentially send out this information to people by accident.

Stop Sharing My Location, but you can also get rid of this feature completely by going to Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> Share My Location and disable the feature under the same name.


Issue #9: Deleted Photos Aren’t Actually Deleted

New in iOS 8 is a “Recently Deleted” photo album which holds on to photos you thought you deleted for up to 30 days after you delete them. While handy for accidental deletions, any sensitive photos you truly want gone are going to be sticking around unless you double-delete them.

Thankfully this is as easy as going to Photos App -> Albums -> Recently Deleted -> Select -> Tap the photo(s) you want to delete -> Delete -> Delete Photo. Alternatively if you accidentally deleted something, you can tap Recover to restore the photo back to the album it was deleted from.


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