How to change your iPhone’s app permissions

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Many iPhone users don’t hesitate to install a new app. It’s easy to hit the download button in the App Store, and forgetting the program when you’re not using it is even easier. But buying an app isn’t the same as buying a real-life trinket and throwing it in your closet; Depending on the permissions you grant, seemingly unimportant apps may gain access to the more private corners of your device. If you want to protect your privacy without cleaning your iPhone, here’s what you need to do.

According to Gizmodo, iOS has made some recent changes to its policies to create more transparency for users. Before you download an app, you will now notice the privacy labels in the app store description. If the app collects data that you don’t feel comfortable sharing, you can choose not to install it in the first place.

There are also ways to protect your privacy regarding programs that you have already set up. When an app wants to access another part of your phone, such as your photos, camera, microphone, or location, it will ask for your permission to use it once the need arises rather than to request all permissions at once. This will give you the ability to assess each permission individually and deny access to functions you want to keep private.

For apps that have been on the sixth page of your Home screen for as long as you can remember, controlling what they can and can’t do is a bit trickier. Software that you haven’t used for years can have freedoms you can’t remember. To change them, open Settings on your iPhone and scroll down to find the app you have in mind. Tapping on the name will take you to a list of what this app can and cannot access. Some permissions can be removed simply by disabling them, while others give you more options. If you want Instagram to only have access to the most recent photos in your library, for example, you can go to Photos in the permissions list and opt for selected photos rather than all photos. From there, you can manually select which images the app is allowed to use.

Location sharing for some apps can also be adjusted to your comfort level. Some apps need location data to function properly, like your weather app, but instead of sharing your exact GPS coordinates, you can limit the program to your approximate location. You can tell the app to only track your location when it’s open or when using certain widgets.

Every smartphone user can benefit from a reassessment of their digital privacy. Even if you trust the apps you download, your data could be used against you in the event of a security breach. Here are some other steps you can take to protect your devices.

[h/t Gizmodo]


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