As more companies and services are leveraging user data to greater extents, it’s becoming more and more important to be aware of your privacy preferences and how you can make sure your iPhone settings are in alignment. Whether it’s been a little while since you’ve checked out your privacy settings or you’ve never looked under the hood, follow along to make sure everything is set to your liking.

Just yesterday, MoviePass’ CEO talked about how much information its app collects.

“we know all about you. […] We get an enormous amount of information,” Lowe continued. “We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards.”

With apps like MoviePass to social media and everything in-between looking to capitalize on your data, it’s important to know what your personal privacy preferences are and how to adjust your iPhone to match.

Fortunately, Apple provides robust controls of how your data is used right within iOS settings. Let’s dive in.

How to protect your iPhone data with privacy controls in iOS

  1. Open Settings and swipe down to find Privacy
  2. Location Services is the main place to find and adjust preferences for individual apps, but you can also look below under the categories such as ContactsCalendars, Reminders, etc. for more privacy controls
  3. After tapping on Location Services check out what privileges each app has
  4. It’s often helpful to look for apps that are set to Always and work from there
  5. Most apps will offer NeverWhile Using, and Always. Others will just use Never and While Using
  6. Apple requires developers to describe what apps do with location data, look for this just below the While Using or Always options to help make your decision

Going further

At the top of the Location Services settings page you’ll find Share My Location. This is for letting friends and family see your location through some of Apple’s first-party apps like Find My Friends and Messages, and some location-based features with Siri, HomePod or HomeKit.

You can also change which device you are sharing your location from, and delete any old or unnecessary devices by swiping from right to left.

System Services

Head to the bottom of the Location Services settings page to find System Services. Here you can customize all of the settings for how your iPhone or iPad uses location data system-wide.

You’ll also find the toggles for sharing your location data to improve Apple products here.

You can find the legend for what the various location arrows signify within settings (as seen above). You can use the legend as you see the location services arrow in the status bar of your iPhone as well as in settings.

Adjust on a per app/hardware feature basis

One last way to check and adjust your privacy settings is by which third-party apps have access to your iPhone hardware and built-in apps. You’ll find these settings under the main Privacy settings.

After taking a look through these settings, you should feel pretty good about your iPhone data and how it is isn’t being used.

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:

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About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.