How To Stop Advertisers From Tracking Your iPhone

Michael Grothaus

17/05/2018 – 2:26pm

iOS 11 features built-in privacy protections against ads.

You don’t think of an advertising company when you think of Apple, but the fact is, part of Apple’s business is selling ads. It does this through its iAds program and it sells these ads to customers who want to advertise inside of iOS apps.

iAds are a great and easy way for developers to make profits from their games without having to sell the ads themselves. Instead, developers just opt to place iAds in their games or apps and Apple takes care of the rest–matching advertisers with developers.

And though Apple doesn’t retain near as much information about you as Google–on of the biggest ad service providers on the planet, Apple does retain information about you it can use to sell targets ads to advertisers.

This information includes things like your location data, your installed apps and game, how often you use a particular app or game, what movies, TV shows, podcasts, or books you’ve watched, listed to, or read through Apple’s iTunes and iBookstore.

This information about you is then grouped with other similar iPhone users and sold to advertisers who target their ads to your demographics. Of course, all this information about you is anonymized–advertisers don’t know your name and can’t identify you personally.

Still, people have become leery of just how much data the big tech giants–and their advertisers–have about them. If you want to limit the ability for advertisers to track you on your iPhone, Apple, thankfully, has made that easy. Just follow these steps:

Block Websites And Advertisers From Tracking You In iOS’s Safari

iOS’s Safari, like any web browser, is capable of giving information about you to advertisers–whether they use iAds or other advertising solutions on the websites you view. But blocking advertisers from getting info about you is easy in iOS 11.

1. Tap the Settings app and then tap Safari.

2. On the next screen, scroll down until you see the “Privacy & Security” heading. Toggle the “Prevent Cross-site Tracking” option to ON. This will stop websites and advertisers from tracking you around the web.

Limit iAd Tracking

If you want to limit iAd tracking inside of apps and games, follow these steps.

1. Tap the Settings app and then tap Privacy.

2. On the Privacy screen, scroll to the bottom and tap Advertising.

3. Make sure Limit Ad Tracking is enabled.

4. You can also tap “Reset Advertising Identifier” to clear your tracking data from your personal advertising identifier.

Limit Location-Based Ad Tracking

You can also limit the ability for Apple to serve you iAds based on your current location. To do this:

1. Tap the Settings app and then tap Privacy.

2. Tap Location Services.

3. Scroll down and tap System Services.

4. Find where it says “Location-Based Apple Ads” and toggle that switch to OFF.

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