As a means to combat annoying and intrusive advertisements in Safari, Apple added native support for content blockers on the iPhone. Instead of being bombarded by notifications, banners, and pop-ups, content blockers prevent them from opening, which can also be said about those annoying cookie consent notices that many websites now have.
When you open Safari for the first time after updating to iOS 15, you'll instantly notice its search bar is now at the bottom, and its Page Settings menu has moved with it. For tabs, moving between them is as easy as swiping on the Tab Bar or selecting one from the new grid view, but you may get confused whenever it's time to open a private window.
Warning: Sensitive Info You Black Out in Images Can Be Revealed with a Few Quick Edits on Your iPhone
These days, most images we post online or share with others come from our smartphones. Whenever personal data is in them, such as debit card numbers, addresses, phone numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information, it's easy to jump into your iPhone's markup tools to black out the text before sharing. But a digital marker may not hide everything.
Apple's password manager, iCloud Keychain, lets you securely save important login credentials for apps, websites, and services that sync up across all of your Apple devices — iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac. One of its biggest highlights is that it can create strong passwords for you. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work, and in those cases, there are other ways to generate random, strong passwords.
With all the talk about privacy concerns recently, Google's name keeps coming up because they are a very data-driven company. As an Android user, they know basically everything about you based on your device usage. That can easily scare some people off who are worried about their privacy and security. You do have some say in what personal data Google controls, but what if you want total control?
Smartphones are inherently bad for privacy. You've basically got a tracking device in your pocket, pinging off cell towers and locking onto GPS satellites. All the while, tracking cookies, advertising IDs, and usage stats follow you around the internet.
How To: Your iPhone Can Detect & Alert You to Sounds Around You in iOS 14, Like Alarms, Knocking, Cats, Crying & More
For those that have deafness or are hard of hearing, the iPhone can be a powerful tool to communicate with others. It works with many hearing aids and Bluetooth headphones, Live Listen makes it easier to hear nearby people and sounds, and the Messages app makes it easy to chat with anyone. But iOS 14 takes it to a new level, one that even users with perfect hearing can benefit from.
With protests springing up across America, there's a chance you may have your first interaction with law enforcement. Many demonstrators will have their phones in-hand to film the action, which, sadly, could prompt an officer to demand the device and any self-incriminating data it may contain. Before this happens, you should know there are tools at your disposal to protect your data in such situations.
Privacy is a growing concern in the tech industry, but Apple has fallen behind many of its peers when it comes to email security. Fortunately, iOS 15 changes that. Your email address is the key to a vast amount of personal information, not to mention a stepping stone into your other online accounts, so it's great to see new features for iPhones that protect email accounts and their contents.
Gmail uses TLS, or Transport Layer Security, by default for all email communications, so all of your emails will use the standard encryption as long as the recipients also support TLS. But there's a way to add even more security to your Gmail emails, and you can use your iPhone's Mail app to do it.
"Why do I keep getting popups on my phone when I'm not even doing anything?" I see this question asked all the time. The answer? You have a shady app on your phone and it started showing full screen ads. But people either don't know this (so they don't know they just need to find and uninstall the problematic app), or if they do know it's a bad app, they don't know which app is causing it.
It's pretty much a given at this point that Facebook has a lot of data on us. While you might be conscious of the data you share with Facebook when you post, upload photos, or chat with friends on Messenger, you might not be thinking about all the data it receives from websites and apps you use outside the social media giant. Now, you can actually do something about it.
Most websites and apps support two-factor authentication (2FA), which adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requesting another form of identification beyond username and password. The second factor can be a recovery code, physical security key, or one-time password (OTP) that only you can access, even if someone else has your password. This process is easier than ever thanks to iOS 15.
How To: Check Your Android Security Patch Level to See if You're Protected Against the Latest Vulnerabilities
Numerous potential exploits are found for every operating system each month, and Android is no exception. Trouble is, lots of Android devices don't receive timely updates — but many are now getting regular monthly security patches to at least shore up these vulnerabilities.
If you save your passwords in Chrome or even just use Android's default password manager, Google has some new security tools you'll be interested in.
Pretend you're a phone thief for a moment. You might be a pickpocket or a stickup kid, but you're in possession of other people's phones on a regular basis. Now ask yourself this: what's the first thing you do after you steal a phone?
Apple's Find My app just got way more useful. While it's great for locating a lost or stolen iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Apple Watch, Mac, and AirPods, as well as anything attached to an AirTag tracker, it's even better now that it works with third-party accessories and gear.
How To: Prevent Thieves from Turning On Your iPhone's Airplane Mode, So You Have a Better Chance to Track It Down
When an iPhone is lost or stolen, it's imperative to start tracking it via Find My as soon as possible, whether that's from a computer, tablet, or someone else's phone. However, if it's stolen, there's a good chance the thief or robber turns on Airplane Mode, blocking all communication with the iPhone. If this is a scary thought, you can prevent thieves from accessing Airplane Mode altogether.
How To: Your iPhone Uses a Hidden Tracker to Keep Tabs on Your Recent & Most Visited Locations — But You Can Stop It
Your iPhone keeps track of every single place you go, especially those you frequent most often, and syncs those locations across all your iCloud-connected devices. People who gain access or already have access to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac may be able to view all of these locations to see where you've been and where you might be. If this worries you, there are things you can do.
How To: Stop Apps from Asking to Track Your iPhone Activity in iOS 14.5 for More Control Over Your Privacy
If you're like me, you're not too keen on being tracked. So when an app asks you if it can track your iPhone activity across other programs and websites for ads or data brokers, the answer is pretty much always "no." If you're tired of choosing "Ask App Not to Track" over and over again, there is a way to stop apps from even being able to ask in the first place.