Your phone does not come with a user manual. Sure, you can find guides online from Apple or Android, but don’t bet on Big Tech telling you the secrets to better protect yourself.
The default settings are often much better for the companies that support them than for you. Tap or click on 10 iPhone default settings that need your attention.
Some features get more attention than others, like the new way to retrieve a text. Tap or click to see what actually happens when you cancel sending a text message. Spoiler alert: he’s not as cunning as you think.
Now, grab your iPhone and I’ll show you some changes you need to make to stay safe.
1. Delete unwanted text messages
Spam calls are blocked relatively effectively at the carrier level, but text messages are different. If your phone is inundated with fake push notifications and other junk, take a few steps to stop them.
The most basic and straightforward method to stop spam messages is to block the number. Here’s how to block a number in Messages:
- tap on the Name either number at the top of a Messages conversation.
- Play informationthen scroll down and tap Block this caller.
You can also go a step further by filtering messages from unknown senders. Text messages from anyone who is not in your contact list will be sent to the Unknown Senders tab in the message list. Here is how to do it:
- To go Settings > Messages.
- Light Filter unknown senders.
Bonus tip: If you receive a message from an unknown number identified as spam or junk, you can report it to Apple. In the message, tap Report junkafter Delete and report garbage.
What if you get a verification code that you didn’t request? It may be nothing, but it could be a scam. Tap or click here for tips you need to take action.
2. Stop all tracking
When you go from one website to another, you are often followed by trackers that collect data about where you have been and what you have been doing.
Data about your browsing habits, likes, shares, ads you click and shopping cart is available. This information may be sold to third parties or used for targeted advertising.
Safari limits cookies and third-party data. The good news is that it’s on by default, but it’s a good idea to make sure you have this option turned on. That is how:
- To go Settings > Safari.
- Under Privacy & Securityalternate in Avoid cross-site tracking. If it’s already on, you’re ready to go.
Your computer’s browser is likely riddled with trackers. Tap or click for an easy way to delete dozens with just a few clicks.
3. Block the creep who won’t leave you alone
I get help requests on my national radio show and podcast all the time from people dealing with an ex, an abusive family member, or an old friend who can’t get a clue. If you’re fed up with their calls and texts, block them.
Block someone through Contacts:
- Open contactsthen touch the name of the contact you want to block.
- Play Block this callerafter Block contact.
Block someone through the Messages app:
- Open the messaging app and strike up a conversation.
- tap on the Name, number, either profile picture at the top of the screen.
- tap on the info button below the contact.
- scroll down and tap Block this caller > Block contact
Bonus tip: You can hide or block your caller ID number. Tap or click here for steps to do so.
4. Browse privately
The Safari version of incognito mode is called Private Browsing. No, it doesn’t keep everything you do private, but it does have some benefits:
- Your browsing history is not saved and the sites you visit are not shared with your other devices.
- Safari won’t remember the pages you visit, what you search for, or your AutoFill information.
Here’s how to open a Private browsing window on your iPhone:
- Open Safari on your iPhone and touch the two square tabs button in the lower right corner.
- If you have many tabs open, touch [number] Tabs at the bottom of the screen to display the list of tab groups.
- If you only have one tab open, touch Homepage at the bottom of the screen to display the list of tab groups.
- Play Privatethen play Done.
Of course, Private mode is not 100% private. Tap or click on my 60 second podcast that breaks it down.
5. Lock your lock screen
You can access some features (widgets, media playback controls, your camera, and Control Center) from your iPhone’s lock screen.
You may want to change what is accessible from your lock screen to protect your privacy. If you can see it, so can anyone else holding your phone.
Here’s how to keep things private:
- To go Settings > Face ID and passcode (on an iPhone with Face ID) or Touch ID and passcode (on an iPhone with a Home button).
- enter your four digit password When prompted.
- In the Allow access when locked section, review the options and choose which one can be seen on the lock screen. Options include Notification Center, Control Center, and more. Spin Notification Center off if you want to keep notifications private.
Keep your tech savvy on the go
My popular podcast is called “kim komando today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and tech callers like you from across the country. Find it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, click the link below to watch a recent episode.
PODCAST SELECTION: Social media smugglers, Meta meltdown, Facebook privacy tips
Afraid of Apple AirTag stalkers? Here’s how to spot the creeps that are tracking you. Also, beware of this TSA scam, hide your phone number and email on Facebook, fix your cargo issues and why Meta is melting. Additionally, smugglers are using Snapchat and TikTok to recruit Americans to ferry migrants from the border into the US.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just look up my last name, “Komando.”
What questions about the digital lifestyle do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Or tap or click here to watch Kim’s free podcasts.
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learn about all the latest technology about him Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.