HWM (Singapore) - - Front Page - by Ng Chong Seng

You know how to al­low or dis­al­low apps to have ac­cess to your con­tacts and cal­en­dar data; you know where to turn on the Do Not Track set­ting in mo­bile Sa­fari – but do you know how to keep the phone from stor­ing your fre­quently vis­ited lo­ca­tions? Here are a few well-hid­den pri­vacy set­tings that you may not know about., but should.


Near the bot­tom of the Set­tings > Lo­ca­tion Ser­vices > Sys­tem Ser­vices page is the Di­ag­nos­tics & Us­age tog­gle. Like many soft­ware, en­abling this al­lows the phone to mon­i­tor what you’re do­ing and send anony­mous data to Ap­ple. This can be a good thing be­cause Ap­ple can use the data to un­der­stand how the de­vice is be­ing used, and in turn, im­prove on it, be it in fu­ture hard­ware or soft­ware up­dates. If you don’t feel com­fort­able about this, by all means turn it off.


iAd is a mo­bile ad­ver­tis­ing plat­form de­vel­oped by Ap­ple for its iOS de­vices. This tog­gle in the same Sys­tem Ser­vices page de­ter­mines whether Ap­ple is able to serve you its ads based on your lo­ca­tion. If you pre­fer to keep your lo­ca­tion a se­cret, and don’t mind get­ting non-tar­geted ads, you can turn this off. In iOS 8, there is a new Lo­ca­tion-based Alerts tog­gle. We sug­gest leav­ing this turned on, as it can be very use­ful if you do use it (e.g. lo­ca­tion-based apps ap­pear­ing on your lockscreen au­to­mat­i­cally for fur­ther in­ter­ac­tion).


Since we’re on the topic of ads, you’ll no­tice that un­der Set­tings > Pri­vacy > Ad­ver­tis­ing, there is a rather self-ex­plana­tory set­ting called Limit Ad Track­ing. You can turn this on if you don’t want to re­ceive ads re­lated to your in­ter­ests from iAd. Feel free to re­set the ad­ver­tis­ing iden­ti­fier; it sorts of re­moves your ad his­tory and starts you off on a clean slate.


Ac­cord­ing to Ap­ple, en­abling Fre­quent Lo­ca­tions in the Sys­tem Ser­vices page al­lows your iOS de­vice to “learn places you fre­quently visit in or­der to pro­vide use­ful lo­ca­tion-re­lated in­for­ma­tion”. If you’re the type that would turn the above­men­tioned set­tings off, we reckon you’ll be in­clined to turn this one off as well. While we’re at it, we sug­gest you might as well scroll to the bot­tom of the page, and en­able the Sta­tus Bar Icon set­ting. So when­ever an ar­row icon ap­pears at your de­vice’s sta­tus bar, you’ll know that a lo­ca­tion ser­vice is ask­ing for your lo­ca­tion.

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