Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology firm whose headquarters is located in California that plans, produces, and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. No matter how much advanced, cheap or eye-catching technology it introduces, users, online privacy has always been one hot topic for it to handle.
Although many Apple users have been accustomed to using popular privacy tools such as Virtual Private Network on their Macs or iOS devices to achieve a slight sense of privacy, they have always looked up to the manufacturer to do better.
Many Apple users are now even turning towards different free VPN providers to protect their online privacy and anonymity from Apple’s intrusive privacy policies. Although free VPNs are not quite as effective as premium ones’, there are still a few best free VPNs for Mac and iOS devices out there that can offer a similar level of security and privacy experience.
Apple’s new online initiative
Apple’s recent iOS 14.5 update allows users to opt-out at will from being tracked around by their applications. This new privacy update prevents fraudulent website checks from getting to you by receiving them on their proxy servers.
This initiative was taken to protect user privacy from being compromised and stop users’ actual IP address leakage to Google and Facebook. Considering that Facebook makes 98% of its revenue by just advertising, this step from Apple can put a severe dent in that revenue.
How does it work?
It all starts with the Safari browser’s feature called “Fraudulent Website Warning.” The objective of this innovation is to alert the users of any website that has been marked as harmful.
To achieve this, Apple depends upon Google’s “Safe Browsing” tool. It is a tool that contains a list of websites that are known to have malicious or harmful content. Whenever an Apple user tries to access any website, Apple cross-checks the website with this list and, depending on whether the website is already in the Safe Browsing list or not, allows or denies the account.
While performing this check, the user’s IP address was leaking over the internet. However, with the new online privacy initiative in iOS version 14.5, all processes will continue to happen. Still, this time, it will be re-routed over proxy servers owned by Apple.
This will protect the user’s privacy as their actual IP address will now be hidden, and the only IP visible to Google would be Apple’s server IP address.
Apple’s new online privacy initiative won’t come into effect till Spring 2021. However, there are few features available in your Safari browser that you can still use to improve your privacy. Let’s go over them one by one.
Stop Cross-Site Tracking
Many websites use third-party content providers, and they can track you across the website to target you later on with different product and service advertisements. If you enable this option, then your tracking data will be eliminated periodically.
Fraudulent Website Warning
When you enable this feature, it will display a warning if the website you are visiting contains any malicious, phishing, or questionable content. We highly recommend keeping this feature enabled at all times. While currently, it may not be as rigorous as when the new initiative will roll out, it is still a pretty handy security tool to have.
When the browser’s private browsing or incognito mode is activated, Safari will not keep a record of the pages you visited, auto-fill username or password, or store your visited website in iCloud.
Although some services or websites may not function correctly and require you to disable the private browsing mode, the address bar appears dark instead of light when you are using private browsing.
Apple’s new online privacy initiative has created many problems for Facebook, and the social media giant is thinking about suing Apple.
Facebook has the facility to target its audience with personalized advertisements after keeping a thorough track of their online activity and data. That is why you suddenly start getting Mobile phone advertisements after searching for a particular phone on Google.
Facebook is utilizing all of its resources to save the revenue it could be losing and looking for ways by which it can still harvest Apple’s user data.
The new Apple update will allow users to keep track of the data gathered by the mobile app they are using and whether they will approve it in the first place. On the other hand, Facebook seems to be determined to release a pop-up notification and ask the users to reconsider their denied access decision.
While the online privacy initiatives are a positive step toward user online privacy, there’s still a lot to be done by these tech giants that have complete and utter control over our lives and choices.
Since you can not sit idle and only wait for Apple to take more and more initiative for your online privacy, there are few fantastic online tools that you can use to protect your online privacy in the meantime. Out of all the online privacy tools, securing yourself and your data with a VPN is the most common trend among internet users.