iOS 7 Privacy & Security Tips

Last Friday I ordered my wife a new iPhone 5S from AT&T.  We’re not the stand in line type so I just went online and ordered the device.  Assuming it might take a few weeks to arrive.  Instead my wife was happily surprised to receive her new iPhone 5S on Tuesday.  Cheers to both AT&T and Apple for the quick turnaround.  Now that my wife has her new phone I’d like to share some tips on securing iOS 7 on iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

iOS 7 Privacy tips

1. Add a VPN Connection

The first thing we did was to add VPN to my wife’s new phone.  We already had an account with IPVanish so we simply added an L2TP connection to one of their servers in the United States.  If you’re new to VPN we suggest you read some of our reviews.  A good VPN service will help you secure your connection when traveling or at your local coffee shop.  We recommend you enable VPN anytime your using an unsecured network.

The following suggestions are from a helpful ZDNet article written by Jason O’Grady:

2. Understand the Location Icon

In IOS 7 you’ll notice an arrow at the top of your screen when apps are using your current location.  Depending on the color, outline and shading you can determine how often an app is tracking your location.  From there you can go into Settings > Privacy > Location Services to see which apps are using your location.  From the same screen you can disable location tracking for any app.  Understanding the icons is the first step.

3. Disable Diagnostics & Usage

Do you want to share everything you do on your iOS device with Apple?  Nothing against them as a company but we’d rather not share our usage with anyone.  Even if the data is sent anonymously.  To disable the feature go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services and slide Diagnostics & Usage to the left.

4. Location-Based iAds

This is a personal preference but we would rather not have our location tracked at any given time just to provide us with relevant advertising.  This is another easy step to help secure your privacy on iOS 7.  To disable the feature go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services and slide Location-Based iAds to the left.

5. Frequent Locations

If you want to keep track of where a device is being used over time then leave this feature enabled.  It will track where you’re traveling frequently with any iOS device.  To us it seems like an invasion of privacy.  To disable the feature go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services and slide Frequent Locations to the left.

To summarize the tips I started by securing my wife’s iPhone 5S with a VPN service.  From there I followed the helpful ZDNet article to fully understand the location icon and disable features like diagnostics & usage, location-based iAds and frequent location tracking features.  Follow us @VPNSP for more privacy tips.