iOS 8: A Take Control Crash Course
by Josh Centers

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Guarding Your Privacy in iOS 8

iOS beats just about any modern operating system when it comes to protecting your privacy. But as with any computing device, you must do a bit of tweaking to maximize your privacy, like setting a passcode .

① 	Privacy starts at home. If you don’t protect your device with a passcode or fingerprint, then anyone who has physical access can see your personal information.

① Privacy starts at home. If you don’t protect your device with a passcode or fingerprint, then anyone who has physical access can see your personal information.

Setting a Passcode

Everyone should have a passcode enabled on their devices. The passcode protects your photos, messages, browser history, and more from nosy eyes. Here’s how to configure it:

  1. Go to Settings > Passcode (on Touch ID-enabled devices, this is Settings > Touch ID & Passcode).
  2. Tap Turn Passcode On.
  3. Enter a four-digit passcode .
    ② 	A four-digit passcode can protect your device from casual snooping.

    ② A four-digit passcode can protect your device from casual snooping.

  4. Enter the passcode again.

    Tip: If you prefer a passcode that will be more secure than a four-digit PIN, disable Simple Passcode in Settings > Passcode.

  5. In the passcode view, specify how long your device has to be unused before requiring a passcode to unlock it. There are a number of options, ranging from immediately to 4 hours.
  6. Consider enabling the Erase Data option, which automatically erases everything on your device after ten failed passcode attempts. If you recover an erased device, you can restore it from a backup, though that might be difficult or impossible while traveling.

New! Privacy Features

③ 	Developers can now explain why they need access to your location.

③ Developers can now explain why they need access to your location.

The developer’s explanation, and information about location granularity, is displayed in small print below the Allow Location Access setting.

Setting up Touch ID

Touch ID, available on newer iPhones and iPads, lets you scan your fingerprint on the Home button instead of typing a passcode. In some cases, it also replaces your having to input a password, such the one that goes with your Apple ID.

If you have a Touch ID–equipped device, you were prompted to set up Touch ID when you set up the device. But in case you skipped that step, or want to edit your settings, here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode (if you see only Settings > Passcode, either you do not have a Touch ID device or something is wrong with your hardware).
  2. Enter your passcode, if prompted.
  3. Tap Add a Fingerprint.
  4. When prompted, place your finger on the Home button (without pressing it) several times until scanning is complete.
  5. You are prompted to scan the edges of your finger. Follow the onscreen instructions.
  6. Repeat for each finger you might want to use to unlock your device. You can scan up to five digits. I recommend both thumbs, your index fingers, and maybe a spouse’s finger.

After setup, I recommend naming each finger by tapping its listing in Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and entering a name into the text field .

④ 	To name or delete a fingerprint, tap its entry in Settings > Touch ID & Passcode.

④ To name or delete a fingerprint, tap its entry in Settings > Touch ID & Passcode.

Deleting a Fingerprint

Open Settings > Touch ID & Passcode, slide the fingerprint’s entry to the left, and tap Delete. Or, tap the entry and tap Delete Fingerprint.

Understanding Privacy Settings

Settings > Privacy offers many options for securing your privacy. Let’s look at the high points:

Tip: If you want your spouse to be able to access your device, you can scan one of his or her fingers, too.

⑤ 	Turning on Limit Ad Tracking in Settings > Privacy > Advertising is an easy way to protect your privacy.

⑤ Turning on Limit Ad Tracking in Settings > Privacy > Advertising is an easy way to protect your privacy.

Location Services Arrow Icons

An item on the Location Services screen may display a tiny arrow icon, similar to the Location Services icon in the status bar. This icon can help you assess when an app has last tracked your location:

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“For private searches, try using DuckDuckGo in iOS 8. Tap Settings > Safari > Search Engine > DuckDuckGo.”

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