It’s unlikely that you’ve already got your hands on the new iPhone X, but you’re probably already running the new iOS 11.
It might sound like a tedious chore, but even ten minutes checking through your iOS 11 privacy and security settings can help you keep hold of your data.
Head to your iPhone or iPad’s Settings app as almost everything takes place there.
Take back control
The Privacy tab is the one-stop where you can see what permissions you’ve given to all your apps.
Does Instagram really need to know where you are?
If you don’t send voice clips on WhatsApp why let it have access?
These are the questions you should be asking as you turn all those settings off.
You’ll see what apps you’ve granted the ability to see your location, photos, calendars, motion tracking, voice recognition, your device’s microphone and more.
There are two other important sections in the Privacy tab: Analytics and Advertising.
Turning the first off means Apple won’t get data on how your device performs and disabling the latter means you won’t get ads that are targeted to your interests.
As well as not handing over as much data you won’t see those slippers you purchased your dad for his birthday crop up time and time again while browsing using Safari.
Have a refresh
Would you have the same PIN for all your bank cards? Didn’t think so.
There’s also no excuse for having duplicates for your iPhone, iPad, and other devices.
All your emails, photos, bank accounts, travel details and more are probably on your phone.
It’s time the PIN had a refresh. It can be done through Touch ID and Passcode.
The same goes for your iCloud account, update your password – to a strong one – through the Accounts & Passwords option.
Make the most of Safari
Other browsers for iOS are available – but Safari on iOS 11 has some nifty options.
On the Safari option in Settings you can flip a load of switches to boost privacy.
There’s the option to prevent cross-site tracking; block all cookies; ask websites not to track you; and get warnings for fraudulent websites.
While you’re in Safari Settings, clear your history and website data. When was the last time you did that?
Sort out your notifications
Push notifications are generally bad, they can also be intrusive.
Visiting the Messages section of Settings allows you to turn off iMessage notifications for anyone who isn’t in your contacts.
You can also pick how long messages are stored by default (there’s the choice of 30 days, one year, or forever).
However, it’s likely that you’ll never need to revisit the vast majority of texts and iMessages sent, so why not just delete the threads next time you’re in the Messages inbox.
Think of it as a spring clean.
Next, head over to Notifications in Settings.
Turning off previews will stop anyone picking-up your iPhone or iPad from having a glimpse at the most recent notifications – even when the device is locked.
While you’re here, turn off all the apps that you don’t really need notifications from.
There’s a lot more than you think.
Update your apps
Pop out of the Settings app for a moment and visit the redesigned App Store.
Tap the Updates tab at the bottom of the screen then the Update All link in the top right-hand corner.
It’s incredibly simple and most of the apps will fix glitchy bugs in their updates as well as security flaws.
Turn on a VPN
If you’ve made it this far: you’re clearly taking this seriously. Or you’re waiting for a train.
One last thing: in the Settings app, go into General and scroll to VPN (Virtual Private Network) to add another level of privacy to your web browsing.
You’ll need to have your VPN details to hand; if you don’t, you can find out everything about VPNs here.