Nowadays, even the dumbest thieves know that the first thing you should do after you steal a phone is turn on airplane mode. Not only does this make it harder for police to track the phone through cell tower triangulation, but it also disables security features the person you stole it from may have implemented — for instance, Samsung's Find My Mobile service.
Standard notifications on Android are pretty intuitive, but the little popup toast messages that appear at the bottom of the screen can be a bit elusive. They come and they go, and that's about it. You can't long-press them to change their settings or even tell which app displayed them in the first place.
How To: What Are Those Orange & Green Dots for in Your iPhone's Status Bar? To Protect You from Malware & Hackers
After updating to iOS 14 or getting a new iPhone with iOS 14 preinstalled, you'll notice orange and green dots that occasionally appear at the top of your iPhone. These dots appear on all supported iOS 14 devices, from the iPhone 6S to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and are there to protect you, but how?
How To: Check This Setting if You Don't Want Your Friends to See What You're Listening to on Apple Music
You shouldn't care what other people think, but sometimes, it's unavoidable. Take your music tastes, for instance. Sure, you might want your friends to think you only listen to the coolest songs, but we all have our guilty pleasures. If you're uncomfortable with your peers seeing your listening history in Apple Music, know there's something you can do about it — on iOS or Android.
"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.
Apple has an excellent reputation for its privacy and security policies. That said, it isn't a perfect reputation. Take Siri, for example. The helpful iOS assistant isn't just communicating with you — Apple saves and listens to a history of your Siri interactions. If you don't want Apple storing your Siri history forever, there's something you can do about it.
One of Apple's best features is AirDrop, which easily lets you send files to other Apple devices with a simple tap. That said, it might be a little too easy to use since just about anyone can send a file to your iPhone, whether you know them or not. The difference between AirDrop as a useful tool among your contacts and an open channel for the entire iPhone community comes down to one setting.
End-to-end encryption makes WhatsApp chats private and secure. However, if someone has access to your iPhone, they can easily open the app and browse through all of your personal conversations. Luckily, there's an easy way to block any would-be intruders at the gates — just lock the app behind Face ID or Touch ID.
How To: Stop Websites from Asking to Use Your Location Every Single Time for Uninterrupted Browsing in Safari
If you surf the web on your iPhone, you no doubt run into this problem all the time: a website wants your location. It can happen when performing a location-based task, such as using a store locator, or whenever a web app just wants to deliver better ads or local recommendations. If you're tired of allowing or denying permission each time, there's an easy way to stop the annoying security pop-ups.
Apps don't need to come bundled with an entire browser just to be able to display web pages — instead, they can call on the system WebView browser to render content for them. Android's default WebView renderer is Google software, which isn't quite as privacy-forward as some other options.
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.
The iPhone has a setting that will obfuscate the content of notifications on its lock screen until you're recognized by Face ID. Google implemented this same feature in its Pixel phones, but many Android devices have no such option. At least, not by default.
How To: Quickly Generate Anonymous, Throwaway Email Addresses on Your iPhone to Keep Your Real Email Accounts Safe from Spam
A temporary email can go a long way. Using your actual email to sign up for a mailing list to receive 10% off a purchase doesn't make sense if you don't use the website much. It means you'll have to deal with spam emails from then on, which is why an anonymous email is perfect not to have to deal with all that trouble. And that's where the TempMail shortcut for your iPhone comes in handy.
How To: Lock Any App on Your iPhone Behind Face ID, Touch ID, or Your Passcode for Extra Privacy & Security
Apple does not provide a native way to lock apps on your iPhone behind Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode. For a long time, we've wanted that option for improved privacy and security, but Apple does allow developers to use its authentication protocols. Apps like Messenger, Outlook, and WhatsApp give the option to lock them down, but for the apps that don't, you can force it with a little time and effort.
How To: Send & Receive Disappearing Messages in Your WhatsApp Conversations to Keep Chats Clutter-Free
Sometimes, keeping every message comes in handy. Maybe you want to relive fun conversations from months or years ago, or perhaps you need to recall a piece of data such as an address, name, or link. However, not all chats need to stick around forever. Whether you're concerned about privacy or just keeping your threads clutter-free, WhatsApp's "disappearing messages" may be what you're looking for.
By default, WhatsApp chats are protected with end-to-end encryption, which means only the devices you send and receive messages to will be able to read your texts. But what if you want to go further? Well, soon, you'll be able to make sure nobody can read your messages after a certain period of time.
Your phone tracks your every move to some extent, and I'm not just talking about Google services. Smartphone manufacturers use telemetry services that run in the background to track how you use the device, mostly for ads or to improve their future products. You don't usually have a say in the matter, but if you have a rooted OnePlus, there's a way you can take control over it.
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.
How To: Disable FaceTime's Creepy Eye Contact Feature in iOS 14 So You Don't Look Like You're Staring Awkwardly
It's incredible what technology can do these days, but sometimes, it gets a little scary. For instance, FaceTime's "Eye Contact" feature, which Apple beta-tested in iOS 13 but released with iOS 14, makes it appear like you're looking right at the camera, even when you're actually looking at your friend on the screen. If you find this artificial trick a bit creepy, rest assured you can turn it off at any time.
Everything lives online these days, so it's not uncommon to have hundreds of credentials for different accounts on apps and websites. That's why a password manager is a must, and your iPhone has one built right into iOS that you can start using today. In iOS 14, it's gotten even more useful since it can now monitor your passwords regularly to see if any match leaked password lists online.