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7 Safari Settings You Should Change to Enhance Your Privacy | #ios | #apple | #iossecurity | #hacking | #aihp


  • If you use Safari on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, you can enable settings to enhance your privacy while web browsing.
  • You can easily disable cookies, change your search engine to DuckDuckGo, hide your IP address, and more.
  • Here are seven of the top ways to make your online activity more private.

While Apple has allowed alternative browsers on the iPhone and iPad for quite some time, odds are good that if you have one of those devices (or a Mac computer, of course) you frequently use Safari to browse the web. It’s relatively safe and private, but you can do much better by tweaking a few settings. Here are seven Safari settings that’ll enhance your privacy when you’re online.

Tell websites to stop tracking you

Almost every step you take online is tracked by websites to target you for ads and to customize your experience. But you can shut most of that down by telling Safari to stop tracking you. On your iPhone or iPad, start the Settings app and then tap Safari. In the Privacy & Security section, enable Prevent Cross-Site Tracking by swiping the button to the right. 

Privacy & Security settings for Safari on iPhone with the "Prevent Cross-Site Tracking" field highlighted.

You can prevent many sites from tracking your online activities if you use Safari.

Dave Johnson/Insider

On a Mac, start Safari and then click Safari in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click Preferences in the dropdown menu. In the Preferences window, click the Privacy tab and then click the checkbox for Prevent Cross-Site Tracking.

Change your search engine to DuckDuckGo

Google is most people’s default, but that search engine fundamentally lacks privacy. If you don’t want a large corporation to know your browsing history, switch to DuckDuckGo. On an iPhone or iPad, start the Settings app and then tap Safari. In the Search section, tap Search Engine and choose DuckDuckGo from the options.

If you’re using a Mac, start Safari and then click Safari in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click Preferences in the dropdown menu. In the Preferences window, click the Search tab. Finally, to the right of Search Engine, click the dropdown menu and switch from Google to DuckDuckGo.

You can change your search engine to DuckDuckGo for more online privacy.

Dave Johnson/Insider

Hide your IP address 

By default, websites can see your IP address, which can reveal personal details about you including your location. If you prefer, you can hide this from online trackers. On your iPhone or iPad, start the Settings app and then tap Safari. In the Privacy & Security section, tap Hide IP Address and choose From Trackers.

If you hide your IP address it’s harder for websites to know your location.

Dave Johnson/Insider

On a Mac, start Safari and then click Safari in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click Preferences in the dropdown menu. In the Preferences window, click the Privacy tab and then click the checkbox for Hide IP address from trackers

Stop using location services

A lot of your mobile device’s secret sauce is based on location services — your iPhone and iPad need to know where you are to make smart suggestions and offer location-based features. But if you don’t want Safari to know where you are, it’s easy to turn off. On an iPhone or iPad, start the Settings app and then tap Safari. In the Settings for Websites section, tap Location and change the setting to Deny (or, if you want to be asked every time, choose Ask). 

On a Mac, start Safari and then click Safari in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click Preferences in the dropdown menu. In the Preferences window, click the Websites tab. Choose Location in the pane on the left. At the bottom of the window, configure When visiting other sites by clicking the dropdown menu and choosing Ask or Deny

Disable autofill

Autofill is a great feature if you don’t like to enter basic personal information into web forms over and over again, but for that to work, Safari has to record private data. Don’t want that? On an iPhone or iPad, start the Settings app and then tap Safari. In the General section, tap Autofill and turn off Use Contact Info and Credit Cards by swiping the buttons to the left. 

On a Mac, start Safari and then click Safari in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click Preferences in the dropdown menu. In the Preferences window, click the AutoFill tab. You can disable autofill data in four categories by clearing the checkboxes.

Use the Preferences menu in Safari to disable various AutoFill options.

Dave Johnson/Insider

Clear your browsing history

This one is the traditional, go-to way to enhance your privacy — you can clear your browsing history from time to time to erase records on your device about where you’ve been online, along with your saved website passwords. On an iPhone or iPad, start the Settings app and then tap Safari. Then scroll down and tap Clear History and Website Data. Conform you want to do that in the popup window.

You can clear your online browsing history in Safari for iPhone with a single tap.

Dave Johnson/Insider

On a Mac, start Safari and then click History in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click Clear History in the dropdown menu, choose the timeframe you want from the dropdown menu, and click Clear History.

Block your cookies

If you prevent cross-site tracking (see the earlier tip in this article), Safari prevents some third-party cookies. But you can disable all cookies if you want to amp up your privacy — just be aware that your online experience will be less convenient, and some sites won’t work properly. To try it on an iPhone or iPad, start the Settings app and then tap Safari. In the Privacy & Security section, enable Block All Cookies by swiping the button to the right.  

On a Mac, start Safari and then click Safari in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click Preferences in the dropdown menu. In the Preferences window, click the Privacy tab. Beside Cookies and website data, click the checkbox for Block all cookies.

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