Go anywhere online and it feels like someone is watching. That’s because, well, they are.
Did you know there’s a secret mobile advertiser ID on your smartphone that knows where you live and what you’ve shopped for online recently? It can easily be traced directly to you and reveals things like your physical address and IP address.
And that’s just one of many trackers, IDs, maps, and settings collecting your info. More often than not, this data is packaged up and sold to the highest bidder. (Sorry, you don’t get a cut.)
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If you want to get serious about security, you’ll have to go beyond the usual steps.
1. Turn on USB restricted mode
Ever charge your Apple device in a public place, on a plane or at work? You need to turn on USB restricted mode. It helps to prevent hackers from “juice jacking” your device by installing malware or stealing information through the USB charging port.
How to do it: To turn on USB Restricted Mode, select Settings > Face ID & Passcode > type in your passcode. Scroll down to the section called “Allow Access When Locked,” and make sure the option called “USB Accessories” is toggled off.
Public charging stations at places like airports and coffee shops are handy but they also put your data at risk. If you’re going to be out long enough for your device to run out of power, consider getting your own external power bank and juicing it before leaving your home. If you must use a public charging station, think about picking up a USB data blocker that stops malware from entering your device or bring along your own external battery charger.
2. Auto-erase data