Master networking, privacy, and security for iOS and iPadOS!

Take Control of
iOS & iPadOS Privacy and Security

Glenn Fleishman

Ensuring that your iPhone or iPad’s data remains secure and in your control and that your private data remains private isn’t a battle—if you know what boxes to check and how to configure iOS and iPadOS to your advantage. While Apple biases security and privacy in your favor, Take Control of iOS & iPadOS Privacy and Security takes you into the intricacies of Apple’s choices when it comes to networking, data sharing, and encryption.

All Take Control books are delivered in three ebook formats—PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle)—and can be read on nearly any device.


The book comprehensively covers networking, privacy, and security in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 (including version 14.5), answering any question you might have across all of those areas. The book covers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular networking; third-party password managers; using Find My for tracking your devices and AirTags tracking an iOS device; USB port blocking to prevent brute-force passcode cracking; Low Data Mode for cellular and Wi-Fi data; using the Apple Watch on a Wi-Fi network; configuring and setting up Personal Hotspot and Instant Hotspot; blocking jerks and spam; two-factor authentication with an Apple ID; using AirDrop and AirPlay; solving connection problems; and much more.

The book offers insight into what information you may unintentionally expose about yourself, and how to prevent Apple and third parties from gaining access to your details. This includes the several techniques Apple has built into Safari for iOS and iPadOS that prevent advertising and tracking companies from following your actions and connecting your browsing behavior on unrelated sites.

Also available: You can save money by buying this book as part of a three-book bundle, which also includes Take Control of Wi-Fi Networking and Security and Take Control of Securing Your Mac. Buy all three books for $25.78, which is 40% off the combined cover prices of $42.97. Add 3-Book Bundle to Cart

You’ll learn how to:

  • Configure, track, and understand the privacy implications of AirTags and other Find My network accessories for tracking
  • Work with Find My to meet up and travel with friends and family, and track down lost devices.
  • Troubleshoot problematic Wi-Fi connections.
  • Create and manage passwords for easy entry, including with third-party passwords tools.
  • Understand Safari’s blocking techniques and how to review websites’ attempts to track you.
  • Master all the options for a Personal Hotspot for yourself and in a Family Sharing group.
  • Share a Wi-Fi password with nearby contacts and via a QR Code.
  • Stream music and video to other devices with AirPlay 2.
  • Deter brute-force cracking by relying on a USB Accessories timeout.
  • Configure Bluetooth devices.
  • Transfer files between iOS and macOS with AirDrop.
  • Block creeps from iMessage, FaceTime, text messages, and phone calls.
  • Secure your data in transit with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection.
  • Protect Apple ID account and iCloud data from unwanted access.
  • Understand why Apple might ask for your iPhone, iPad, or Mac password when you log in on a new device using two-factor authentication.
Glenn Fleishman

About Glenn Fleishman

Glenn Fleishman is a veteran technology writer who has contributed to dozens of publications across his career, including Macworld, Fast Company, and Increment. He has also written dozens of editions of books in the Take Control series. He spent 2019 and 2020 building 100 tiny type museums full of real printing artifacts—a few remain available for purchase. Glenn lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.

What’s New in Version 1.3

Apple made a few small but significant changes related to AirTags on May 24, 2022, in iOS/iPadOS 14.6 and to the webpages associated with AirTag serial numbers:

  • Apple now lets you provide either a phone number or an email address when you mark an AirTag as lost.
  • On June 3, 2021, Apple reduced the time before an AirTag starts making a noise after being separated from its owner.
  • Apple also said they would release an Android app for monitoring the presence of AirTags traveling with someone later in 2021.
  • When someone finds an AirTag, reads it via an NFC device, and follows the embedded link to a page associated with its embedded serial number, Apple now displays the last four digits of the phone number associated with the Apple ID account with which the AirTag is registered (via an iPhone or iPad).

I’ve updated “Find Your Devices” throughout to reflect those changes.

What Was New in Version 1.2

Apple’s new AirTag location trackers alert people about their presence when the owner isn’t in the vicinity for a period of time. But the details about when and how are somewhat complicated, including when the trackers are ostensibly misused to stalk someone or otherwise track them without their knowledge or consent. In version 1.1, my explanation left out a few bits and pieces and wasn’t as clear as it could be. I’ve added more detail throughout “Find Your Devices,” particularly explaining how unwanted or unknown tracking interactions can be managed by someone near an AirTag.

What Was New in Version 1.1

Apple imposed new requirements for disclosing the data an app collects in December 2020, and how it uses it and for obtaining tracking permission across apps and websites April 26, 2021. These changes were described in version 1.0 of the book, but couldn’t be shown precisely until they were rolled out. See “App Privacy Controls Improve.”

Since the previous version, Apple also made some significant changes and expansions to its Find My system for tracking lost and stolen items:

  • First, they opened allowed third parties to tie into the Find My network (see “Discover Disconnected Devices”), which relies on privacy-protecting detection of lost items by other people’s iPhones, iPads, and Macs; products are in the pipeline for later in 2021.
  • Second, they renamed and changed parts of the Find My configuration and in the Find My apps, including adding a new tab to the native apps in iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. See “Enable Find My.”
  • Third, Apple shipped the AirTag, a compact device that pairs with an iPhone or iPad, and then can be found through the anonymous, secure crowdsourcing part of Find My. See “Track via an AirTag or Accessory.”

This required substantial revisions and additions to the chapter now called “Find Your Devices”; you’ll find up-to-date information there on all the changes.

Apple slipstreamed in a major change to AirPlay in iOS 14.2/iPadOS 14.2 that led me to update, rethink, and expand the “Stream via AirPlay” chapter. This chapter now separates out audio, video, and screen mirroring, includes details about HomePods, and explains how the media players tiles accessible via Control Center work.

Apple and Google’s COVID-19 privacy-preserving exposure notification system released in 2020 was expected to provide some help in tracking contacts without disclosing any information. However, due to late adoption and non-adoption by health agencies, and a low uptake in areas that did support it, the system was seemingly ineffective in improving people’s self-quarantine after potential exposure. I’ve removed that chapter entirely for now, as it is no longer relevant.

This version also updates the book to account for the release of true 5G cellular networking in iPhone models, some changes in cellular providers’ service plans, and updates around the flavors and speeds of 5G available. You can find all that in “Manage Cell Data Usage.”

Some minor typos are also fixed in this version.

  • Read Me First
    • What’s New in Version 1.3
    • What Was New in Version 1.2
    • What Was New in Version 1.1
    • Updates and More
  • Introduction
  • Connect and Secure Quick Start
  • Connect to a Wi-Fi Network
    • Join a Network
    • Manage Wi-Fi Connections
    • Drill Down to Network Details
    • Turn Wi-Fi Off
    • Capture the Page
  • Troubleshoot Wi-Fi
    • Can’t See Any Wi-Fi Networks or a Network You Need
    • No Wi-Fi Signal Strength in the Indicator
    • Too Many Wi-Fi Networks
    • Correct Password Not Accepted
    • No Internet Service After Connecting
  • Make a Mobile Hotspot
    • Work with Personal Hotspot Settings
    • Other Ways To Connect
  • Choose Between Cellular Data and Wi-Fi
    • Which Network Are You On?
    • Select Which Service to Use
  • Manage Cell Data Usage
    • Carriers Shift to Throttling
    • Keep Usage Restrained
  • Place Calls via Wi-Fi
    • Enable Wi-Fi Calling on Your iPhone
    • Enable Wi-Fi Calling on Other Devices
  • Manage Airplane Mode
    • What’s Airplane Mode?
    • When Radios Turn Off
  • Set Up Bluetooth
    • Bluetooth Basics
    • Pairing Any Device
    • Hands-Free Profile
    • Audio Devices
  • Pass Files with AirDrop
    • Configure AirDrop
    • Share with AirDrop
  • Stream via AirPlay
    • Configure AirPlay Destinations
    • Select AirPlay Devices
    • Other Ways to Use AirPlay
  • Control Privacy Leaks
    • Where Data Lives
    • What Kinds of Data
    • What Can Be Extracted and Learned
  • Apple Blocks Tracking in Safari
    • Safari Blocks Cookies
    • Apple Breaks One-to-One Ad Tracking
    • See a Privacy Report in Safari
    • Block Content in Safari with Apps
  • Set Up for Privacy
  • Control System Privacy
    • Manage Siri Privacy
    • Work with Safari Privacy
    • Mediate Location Access
    • Decide Access by Apps
  • Keep Creeps Away
    • Block Numbers and Email Addresses
    • Call-Blocking Apps
    • Filter iMessages and SMS
  • Create, Manage, and Use Strong Passwords
    • What Makes for a Good Password
    • Work with iOS and iPadOS’s Built-in Manager
    • Use Third-Party Password Managers
  • Connect to a Secure Wi-Fi Network
    • Connect to a Small Network
    • Connect to an Enterprise Network
  • Use Two-Factor Authentication
    • What Have You Got in Your Pocket?
    • The Risk of SMS 2FA Factors
    • Turn On Apple’s 2FA
    • Log In with 2FA to Apple Sites and Services
    • Log In to Services with App-Specific Passwords
    • Manage 2FA Devices, Contacts, and Email
    • Recover Account and Access
    • A Secure Second Factor for the Web
  • Connect with a VPN
    • Umbrella Protection
    • Make a VPN Connection
  • Protect Your Device
    • Use a Passcode
    • Use a Biometric Login
    • Block Unwanted USB Connections
  • Find Your Devices
    • How Find My Works
    • Deploy an AirTag or Accessory
    • Enable Find My
    • View Your Device’s Location
    • Take Remote Action
  • About This Book
    • Ebook Extras
    • About the Author
    • About the Publisher
  • Copyright and Fine Print


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