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Now let's talk briefly about an issue that's very important to many people these days, privacy. To access privacy settings on your device, go to Settings > Privacy. And here you'll find the various privacy options you can manage. The first item is, Location Services. Essentially, this is the setting that lets apps know where you are. This information is vital for some apps. Like, say, Maps, or even the Camera app if you want to be able to geotag your photos. Other apps might want your location information just so the app creators can keep stats on their user base.
In here, you can turn all location services off with this master switch at the top. And with Location Services off, no apps will be able to access information on your current location. Or you can keep Location Services on. I'll just cancel that. And then you can turn it off for specific apps. In this list below, you'll find all the apps that can access to your location information. Any app that's accessed your location within the past 24 hours, will have a gray location icon next to it. Any apps that are currently using your location information will have a purple icon. If you see any apps that you don't think really need your location info, you can just turn them off.
For instance if I don't think this RedLaser shopping app needs my location information, I can just switch it off. Now the next time I open the app, I might get a request to turn that service back on. But you can generally ignore it if the app works fine without knowing where you are. If you've installed a bunch of apps, you've probably already had to agree or disagree to let an app access your location information. My suggestion is to consider whether the app really needs that info. For example, an app like Yelp does need that information if I want it to be able to find nearby restaurants for me, so I'll allow it. But I can always go back to the Location Services settings, and switch that off if I want.
I'll leave that on. Let's go back to the main privacy settings. Now the rest of these settings deal with information and services that apps can request access to. Tapping one of these shows you which apps can access this information, and whether or not they currently do. For example I can tap Contacts, and see which apps can access the contacts on my phone. If I don't want certain apps to have access to this information, I can just turn them off. And they'll instantly be unable to get that information. I do want to leave that on in this case. And I can do the same thing with apps that access my Calendars, Reminders, Photos, or Bluetooth sharing.
New to iOS 7, apps now even have to ask permission to access the microphone on your device. You can tap microphone to see which apps have the ability to listen to your surroundings, and disable them if you want. There're even settings here to see which apps can access your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Bear in mind that there are many legitimate reasons for some apps to access this information. You may have an app that you can post directly to Twitter from, in which case it will need to have access to your Twitter log-in information. Or you may have an app that can directly send photos you shoot to your friends, in which case it will need access to your contacts and photos.
In all cases, when you install an app and open it for the first time, you'll see a popup message, letting you know exactly which settings the app wants to access, if any. And you'll be given the choice to allow or disallow it. If you later change your mind, you can come back here, into Privacy Settings, to change your preferences. And, the last section here is Advertising. In here you'll find the ability to switch on Limit Ad Tracking. Many apps these days, especially free ones, feature in-app advertisements. Previously and currently, ad networks were able to target users with specific ads by tracking certain activities through the apps they use.
When Limit Ad Tracking is activated though, advertisers will only be able to access a very limited set of data related to issues like security, bug tracking, and other generic data. Even with Limit Ad Tracking off, none of the data collected is tied to you personally. But with it on, you'll eventually start seeing fewer targeted ads. I say eventually, because limited ad tracking is still relatively new, but all apps running on iOS 6 or later are essentially forced to comply with it. So, if you want to keep the ways you use your apps even more private, you can turn this feature on. Now before we wrap up here, previously we looked at the Restrictions settings found under General > Restrictions.
And remember with restrictions on, you have to have the password to make changes here. And in here you'll also find Privacy Settings. Now these are identical to the privacy settings we were just looking at. The difference is that here, you can prevent changes from being made to these privacy settings. Again, if you're a parent and you want to make sure your kids can't change these settings, this is where you can restrict changes. For example, if you don't want any apps accessing the contacts on the phone or iPod whithout you knowing, you can go into Contacts, and choose Don't Allow Changes. Or you can choose to make it so specific apps can't access contacts.
So again the privacy settings and restrictions are here if you want to prevent the main privacy settings from being changed. But if you're maintaining your own device, you probably don't have to worry about restrictions. And you can manage your privacy from the main Privacy's page.
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