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Top 11 iOS 7 Security & Privacy Settings You Should Know About

Apple's iOS  7 has brought plenty of new features into the table and amongst these shiny new stuff are privacy and security-related features. Many of these iOS 7 security features enables Apple to track and store information about you. So in this guide, we will walk you through the privacy and security features found in iOS 7 which you should know about. While many of these features have existed in previous iOS iterations, we feel that they're things that all iDevice owners should know.

Top iOS 7 Security Settings You Should Know About

iOS 7 Security & Privacy Features

11. Disabling Apps From Accessing Microphone

Disabling Apps From Accessing Microphone

If you think that the world is out to spy on you, you might want to filter which apps can access your iPhone's microphone. Many apps will ask for permission to access your microphone but in order to enable/disable which apps can access your mic, navigate to Settings > Privacy > Microphone. Choose wisely which apps to disable. Some apps like Shazam becomes worthless without access to your microphone.

10. Passwords & Credit Card Autofill

Passwords & Credit Card Autofill

For convenience, the iOS 7 Safari app will let you save your information to autofill such as names, usernames, passwords, and even your credit card numbers. Now, I probably don't have to explain the pros and cons of having this feature enabled, especially when you don't have a passcode on your device. To enable/disable this particular iOS 7 security option, go to Settings > Safari > Passwords & Autofill.

9. Block Cookies from Websites

Block Cookies from Websites

Cookies allow websites to remember your login information like name, email and other preferences. If you are not too keen on the idea of having websites store important information on your iPhone, then you set Safari's cookie blocking capabilities according to your needs. Simply go to Settings > Safari > Block Cookies and select either Always, From third parties and advertisers or Never.

8. Erase Data After Too Many Password Attempts

Erase Data After Too Many Password Attempts

Protecting the date stored on your iDevice is an immediate concern. One layer of protection that you can add on top of your Passcode is the Erase Data feature. Not exactly a new feature but iOS device owners should certainly enable this iOS 7 security feature. This setting will wipe the data from your iPhone after too many password attempts, 10 times to be exact. So in case your iPhone gets stolen, they won't be able to get their hands on your data, provided they have tried to access it way too many times. Jump to Settings -> General -> Passcode Lock and find an option called Erase Data all the way down.

7. Ad-Tracking

Ad-Tracking iOS 7

Wow, advertisers can track my every move so they serve me with advertisements based on my web habits and activities? Well, no thank you! If you share the same sentiment with me, you might as well enable the Do Not Track feature in Safari. With this iOS 7 security feature enabled, you don’t have to worry about third-party advertisers tracking your every move. To access this feature, go to Settings > Safari and enable Do Not Track.

6. Clear Web History & Cookies

Clear Web History & Cookies iOS 7

Not exactly a new feature in iOS 7 but all iDevice owners should know that they can clear their browsing history and cookies in Safari. And you should do it as well on a regular basis if you don't want your browsing history to come back and expose your best-kept secrets. To do this, go to Settings > Safari > scroll down to see Clear History and Clear Cookies and Data. And if you don't want to deal with browsing histories and cookies, you can..

5. Use Safari Private Browsing Mode

Use Safari Private Browsing Mode iOS 7

Safari now gives the option to users to browse in Private mode so no information such as history, cookies, login status, autofill details will be saved. By default, Private mode also request websites and third-party advertisers not to track you and turns on cookie blocking. To access the Private browsing mode in Safari, tap on the tabs icon (the right most button at the bottom of the screen), then tap Private.

4. Frequent Locations

Frequent Locations iOS 7

With Frequent Locations enabled, Apple will be able to track your favorite places and helps Maps provide you with quick traffic info and the likes. If somehow this particular feature gives you a creepy feeling, you can disable Frequent Locations by navigating to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, scroll all the way down then tap System Services. At the bottom, you should see Frequent Locations, disable it.

3. Location-Based iAds

Location-Based iAds iOS 7

iAds are those ad banners you see while you are using third-party apps which you have downloaded for free (although there are paid apps that also serve ads) from the App Store. With Location-Based iAds, you will be given ads that are more relevant based on your location. Turning off Location-Based iAds will not get rid of iAds for good but at least, you can prevent the system from tracking your location.

2. Find My iPhone

Find my iPhone iOS 7

Find My iPhone is of course a feature which is not exactly new to longtime iOS users. Enabling Find My iPhone is probably one of the smartest things that you can do. Using Find My iPhone, you can remotely wipe out your device via iCloud or put it on lost mode. There is also a neat Play Sound feature which comes in handy in case your phone is simply buried in your couch or someplace else.

If your iPhone ever gets stolen, you can pinpoint its location by logging in to iCloud.com using your Apple ID. It's a good thing that Find My iPhone can't be disabled now without being logged in. To enable Find my iPhone go to Settings > iCloud > then enable Find My iPhone.

1. Passcode Lock

iOS 7 Passcode Lock

Perhaps the first and foremost security feature that you should enable after getting a new iPhone is to enable Passcode Lock. Yet, many folks seem to bypass this step. If you have some seriously sensitive date stored on your device, enabling the passcode is simply a no-brainer. Just be warned that a four-digit code can easily be cracked, so it is highly recommended that you disable Simple Passcode which will allow you to use a strong, alphanumeric code.

So there you go! The top iOS 7 security and privacy features that you should know about to keep your device safe and secure. For more iOS 7 tips and features, you can check out our previous Top iOS 7 Secret Features.

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