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

Take Control of
iOS & iPadOS Privacy and Security

Fourth Edition
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. 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—and protecting your personal safety. Substantially updated to cover dozens of changes and new features in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17!

All Take Control books are delivered in two ebook formats—PDF and EPUB—and can be read on nearly any device.


Your iPhone and iPad have become the center of your digital identity, and it’s easy to lose track of all the ways in which Apple and other parties access your data legitimately—or without your full knowledge and consent. While Apple nearly always errs on the side of disclosure and permission, many other firms don’t. This book comprehensively explains how to configure iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and iCloud-based services to best protect your privacy with messaging, email, browsing, and much more. The book also shows you how to ensure your devices and data are secure from intrusion from attackers of all types.

You’ll get practical strategies and configuration advice to protect yourself against psychological and physical threats, including restrictions on your freedom and safety. For instance, you can now screen images that may contain nude images, while Apple has further enhanced Lockdown Mode to block potential attacks by governments, including your own.

Take Control of iOS & iPadOS Privacy and Security covers how to configure the hundreds of privacy and data sharing settings Apple offers in iOS and iPadOS, and which it mediates for third-party apps. Safari now has umpteen different strategies built in by Apple to protect your web surfing habits, personal data, and identity, and new features in Safari, Mail, and Messages that block tracking of your movement across sites, actions on ads, and even when you open and view an email message.

In addition to privacy and security, this book also teaches you everything you need to know about networking, whether you’re using 3G, 4G LTE, or 5G cellular, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, or combinations of all of them; as well as about AirDrop, AirPlay, Airplane Mode, Personal Hotspot, and tethering.

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:

  • Twiddle 5G settings to ensure the best network speeds on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Master the options for a Personal Hotspot for yourself and in a Family Sharing group.
  • Set up a device securely from the moment you power up a new or newly restored iPhone or iPad.
  • Manage Apple’s built-in second factor verification code generator for extra-secure website and app logins.
  • Create groups of passwords and passkeys you can share securely with other iPhone, iPad, and Mac users.
  • Decide whether Advanced Data Protection in iCloud, an enhanced encryption option that makes nearly all your iCloud data impossible for even Apple to view, makes sense for you.
  • Get to know Apple’s passkeys, a high-security but easy-to-use website login system with industry-wide support.
  • Block unknown (and unwanted) callers, iMessage senders, and phone calls, now including FaceTime.
  • Protect your email by using Hide My Email, a iCloud+ tool to generaten address Apple manages and relays messages through for you—now including email used with Apple Pay transactions.
  • Understand Safari’s blocking techniques and how to review websites’ attempts to track you, including the latest improvements in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17.
  • Learn about Communication Safety, a way to alert your children about sensitive images—but now also a tool to keep unsolicited and unwanted images of private parts from appearing on your devices.
  • Understand why Apple might ask for your iPhone, iPad, or Mac password when you log in on a new device using two-factor authentication.
  • Keep yourself safe when en route to a destination by creating a Check In partner who will be alerted if you don’t reach your intended end point or don’t respond within a period of time.
  • Dig into Private Browsing’s several new features in iOS 17/iPadOS 17, designed to let you leave no trace of your identity or actions behind, while protecting your iPhone or iPad from prying eyes, too.
  • Figure out how to manage data usage across two phone SIMs (or eSIMS) at home and while traveling.
  • See how a hardware encryption key lets you strongly protect your Apple ID account.
  • Share a Wi-Fi password with nearby contacts and via a QR Code.
  • Differentiate between encrypted data sessions and end-to-end encryption.
  • Stream music and video to other devices with AirPlay 2.
  • Understand iCloud+’s Private Relay, a privacy-protecting browsing service that keeps your habits and locations from prying marketing eyes.
  • Deter brute-force cracking by relying on an Accessories timeout for devices physically being plugged in that use USB and other standards.
  • Configure Bluetooth devices.
  • Enjoy enhanced AirDrop options that let you tap two iPhones to transfer files and continue file transfers over the internet when you move out of range.
  • Protect Apple ID account and iCloud data from unwanted access at a regular level and via the new Safety Check, designed to let you review or sever digital connections with people you know who may wish you harm.
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. Glenn lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.

What’s New in the Fourth Edition

Apple has once again made some significant additions and improvements regarding privacy and security with the release of iOS 17/iPadOS 17—though networking features remains nearly the same, except for improvements to AirDrop.

New Protect Yourself Chapter

As a result of new features and updates to existing ones, the fourth edition of this book features a new chapter: Protect Yourself. In it, you’ll find the revised sections “Avoid Physical Passcode Theft,” “Perform a Safety Check,” and “Engage Lockdown Mode” (expanded in features and to watchOS in this operating system update). You’ll also find the following new protections:

  • Communication Safety for all: Originally designed as a tool to alert children to unwanted incoming photos containing nudity and to discourage them from sending such photos, Communication Safety now provides an advantage to all users under the name Sensitive Content Warning. See “Control What You See.”
  • Check In: You can now alert other people to a journey you take, by taxi or train, for instance, and when you arrive. See “Check In for Peace of Mind.”

This is in addition to the additional new and improved features in the following sections.

Updated Networking Options

While some networking features date back over 15 years, Apple keeps improving their line-up. Here’s the latest:

  • Allow More Data on 5G: Apple overhauled their explanation of how this feature that switches to 5G preferentially when you’re on certain Wi-Fi networks. I’ve revamped how I explain it, too, including a previously unmentioned option that lets you block this override. See “Work with Apple’s Automatic 5G Selection.”
  • AirDrop proximity: Apple has new tricks for AirDrop: bring two iPhones close together and a new AirDrop mode engages, described in “Share Between Two iPhones.” This allows no-tap or one-tap exchanges of images and other data.

Improved Privacy

The constant war against advertisers, marketers, and outright thieves trying to grab your private information continues. Apple has added more tools and features to keep your private stuff private. These are:

  • Advanced Tracking and Fingerprinting Protection: To avoid embedded information in links revealing information about you, Apple now automatically strips what it sees as user-identifying data in standard marketing tags in Mail and Messages. They also remove these in Private Browsing in Safari. See “Apple Strips User-Identifying Links.”
  • Additional protections in Private Browsing: Apple has four new features in Private Browsing: automatic disabling of extensions; locking Private Browser after you lock your device or it goes to sleep; Advanced Tracking and Fingerprinting Protection, described briefly above and in Apple Strips User-Identifying Links; and on-device search suggestions. See “Private Browsing.”
  • Site-by-site Extensions control in Safari: Since the introduction of Safari extensions with iOS 15/iPadOS 15, Apple has offered only a binary on/off switch for each extension. In iOS 17/iPadOS 17, you can install an extension with initial single-site access or access across all websites, after which you can modify for site-wide or site-by-site availability. Apple also disclosure more about what an extension will do and makes you agree. See “Safari Extensions.”
  • Hide My Email for Apple Pay: You can now use the iCloud+ service Hide My Email to provide an email alias while completing an Apple Pay transaction. See “Hide Your Email with Apple Pay.”
  • Permissions granularity for sharing photos: Apple has tightened the screws on the access apps have to your Photos Library. Now, you can share as little as a single image or video with an app. See “Manage Privacy Permissions.”
  • Block unknown FaceTime callers: You can now set FaceTime to decline any incoming call request from people not in your contacts. See an update within “Block Numbers and Email Addresses.”

Security Enhancements

  • Delete SMS tokens after autofilling: To avoid your Messages conversation list filling up with SMS tokens, the short texts with second-factor login codes, you can have iOS/iPadOS automatically delete them after autofilling into a form or app. See “Fill in a Second Factor.”
  • Mail token retrieval: Because some second-factor tokens arrive via email, Apple now allows Mail to parse for these codes and offer to autofill them, too. See “Fill in a Second Factor.” (Spoiler: It’s enabled automatically and you can’t disable or configure it.)
  • Password and passkey sharing: Apple lets you share passwords with other people, though there’s a catch. Each password can be shared uniquely with a single group, so it’s more accurately “group and share access.” See “Provide Grouped Access to Passwords.”
  • Sign-In & Security: Apple changed a label in Settings > Account Name that used to be Passwords & Security to the more accurate Sign-In & Security. See “A Switch from Passwords & Security to Sign-In & Security” and throughout “Use Apple ID Two-Factor Authentication.”
  • Change Password gives you 72 hours’ grace: After you change your password in Touch ID/Face ID & Passcode, you now have a 72-hour period during which the previous passcode will continue to work in case you forget the new one. See “Change Your Passcode.”
  • Read Me First
    • What’s New in the Fourth Edition
    • How To Use Control Center
    • 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 Cellular Features
    • Consider Bandwidth Usage
    • Place Cellular Calls via Wi-Fi
  • 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 Deters Ad Tracking
    • See a Privacy Report in Safari
    • Block Content in Safari with Apps
  • Manage Communication Safety Tools
    • Restrict Media with Nudity
    • Search Provides Better Abuse Support
    • Be Informed on Privacy Concerns
  • Set Up for Privacy
  • Control System Privacy
    • Manage Siri Privacy
    • Work with Safari Privacy
    • Enable Email Privacy
    • Mediate Location Access
    • Decide Access by Apps
    • Enable ADP for iCloud Data
  • Deter Abuse, Spam, and Scams
    • What Apple Doesn’t Block
    • Block Numbers and Email Addresses
    • Call-Blocking Apps
    • Filter Incoming Texts, Calls, and FaceTime
  • Protect Yourself
    • Control What You See
    • Check In for Peace of Mind
    • Avoid Physical Passcode Theft
    • Perform a Safety Check
    • Engage Lockdown Mode
  • Manage Passwords, Passkeys, and Factors
    • Start with Password and Passkey Basics
    • Examine Stored Passwords and Passkeys
    • Examine Security Recommendations
    • Learn About Second Factors
    • Get To Know and Start Using Passkeys
    • Use Passwords on Sites and with Apps
  • Connect to a Secure Wi-Fi Network
    • Connect to a Small Network
    • Connect to an Enterprise Network
  • Use Apple ID Two-Factor Authentication
    • What Have You Got in Your Pocket?
    • The Risk of SMS 2FA Factors
    • Turn On Apple’s Code-Based 2FA
    • Deploy a Security Key with Apple ID
    • Log In with 2FA to Apple Sites and Services
    • Log In to Services with App-Specific Passwords
    • Manage 2FA Devices, Contacts, and Email
  • Protect Privacy and Security on a Network
    • Protect Privacy with an Anonymity-Preserving Relay
    • Protect Security with a VPN
  • Protect Your Device
    • Use a Passcode
    • Use a Biometric Login
    • Block Unwanted USB Connections
  • About This Book
    • Ebook Extras
    • About the Author
    • About the Publisher
  • Copyright and Fine Print


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