iOS 15

The long-awaited iOS 15 is here. Although Apple has been on the wrong side of the privacy debate lately, the tech giant remains a leader in protecting user privacy.

Here are some ways iOS 15 will protect your privacy:

What it is: iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 features an improved Intelligent tracking prevention that stops websites and trackers from knowing your real IP address. Why it’s important: every iPhone – like every other device with an internet connection – has a unique IP address. Sites and companies can use it to identify you and build a profile of your online activity. But now iOS 15 allows you to hide your real IP from the trackers that sites and advertisers use to identify you.

How to enable it: Open Settings > Safari > Hide IP Address. Then tap Tracker Only. Alternately, you can tap Trackers and Websites if you have iCloud Plus.

What it is: it keeps your IP address and email actions private from senders who insert tracking pixels into their messages.

Why it’s important: tracking pixels are a tool advertisers use to monitor the way you interact with their emails.

A tracking pixel is a remote, invisible image that calls back to the sender’s server when you open an email. It tells the sender exactly when you’ve opened it, your IP, your location and more.

Mail privacy protection blocks tracking pixels by automatically downloading all remote images the second you receive an email and blocks your real IP and location from being known. This effectively makes tracking pixels useless, protecting your privacy.

How to enable it: Go to Settings > Mail > Privacy Protection. Toggle the switch next to Protect Mail Privacy to On (green). Also, toggle the switch next to Hide IP Address to On (green).

What it is: App Privacy Report shows you which apps have accessed your iPhone’s sensors and cameras in the past seven days, as well as what data the apps are accessing, and where they are sending that data.

Why it’s important: Many of us have dozens if not hundreds of apps on our iPhone. And many of those apps are accessing our cameras, photos, location, and microphones, not to mention sucking up other data about us and sending it back to third-party services and advertisers. The App Privacy Report will show you just what each app is accessing and the data it is collecting and sending off. This transparency helps to better inform you about the apps you might want to delete.

How to enable it: Go to Settings > Privacy > App Privacy Report. You can tap on any app listed to find out more about what data it is accessing and the network activity associated with the app.

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