You have control over what you share.

Privacy is built in from the beginning, from the moment you open your new device to every time you use an app. Here are a few things to know so you can be even more secure.

Secure your devices.

Prevent anyone except you from using your devices and accessing your information.

Six-digit passcodes

Setting a passcode is the most important thing you can do to safeguard your device. The passcode on your Touch ID– or Face ID–enabled device is automatically set to six digits, creating a million possible combinations. You can also enable Erase Data in Settings to have your device wipe itself clean after 10 incorrect guesses.

Learn more about protecting your device with a passcode

Touch ID and Face ID

Touch ID and Face ID provide intuitive and secure authentication with the touch of a finger or a simple glance. Your fingerprint or face data is converted into a mathematical representation that is encrypted and used only by the Secure Enclave in your Mac, iPad or iPhone. Since fingerprint and face data is so personal, your device takes extraordinary measures to protect it. This data can’t be accessed by the operating system on your device or by any applications running on it. And it is never stored on Apple servers or backed up to iCloud or anywhere else.

Learn more about Touch ID Security View the Face ID white paper (PDF)

Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is the best way to keep your information safe because it adds a second layer of security to your Apple ID. It’s designed to ensure that even if someone knows your password, your account still can’t be accessed. When you sign in on a new device or from the web, a verification code will be displayed automatically on all your trusted devices. Enter this code along with your password and you’ll be signed in. Anyone who can’t provide both your password and the verification code will be kept out. Once signed in, you won’t be asked for a verification code on that device again unless you sign out completely, erase the device or need to change your password for security reasons.

Learn how to set up two-factor authentication

Find My

Enabling Find My for iPhone, iPad and Mac helps keep you connected to your device even if it’s lost or stolen, and Find My is built in a way that protects your privacy. It’s enabled automatically when you sign in to iCloud on a new device. You can see where your device is on a map — and where it has been — so you improve your chances of recovering it. If you’re unable to get your device back, you can remotely erase the personal data on it. Apple receives this location information only when you locate your device, turn on Lost Mode or enable Send Last Location. Location data is only retained for 24 hours so we can display the last known location of your device. Find My also automatically turns on Activation Lock, which requires your Apple ID to be entered before anyone can erase or reactivate your device.

Learn about privacy settings and controls.

Settings have been carefully designed to put you in control of your data. And you can adjust what information is shared, where you share it and when it is backed up.

Third-party apps and permissions

Apple gives you transparency and control over data that you share with apps. Apps may request access to things such as your location, contacts, calendars or photos. You’ll receive a prompt with an explanation the first time a third-party app wants to use this data, so you can make an informed decision about granting permission. Even if you grant access once, you can always change it later in Settings.

Location data

Sometimes it’s useful for your device to know your location, like when you’re setting up meetings in Calendar or getting directions. Location Services on your device uses a combination of GPS, Bluetooth and crowd-sourced Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile towers to figure out where you are. Apple gives you control over the collection and use of this location data on all your devices. You have the choice to enable Location Services when you first set up your device — it’s not on by default. And once you turn it on, you can always change your mind and turn it off.

View the Location Services Privacy white paper (PDF)

Data and privacy information

Data and privacy information screens make it easy to understand how Apple will use your personal information before you sign in or start using new features. When you see the Data and Privacy icon, you’ll find helpful information on what personal data may be shared and how it will be used to improve your experience.

Data and Privacy page

To give you more control over your personal information, we provide a set of dedicated privacy management tools on your Data and Privacy page. These tools give you the ability to get a copy of your data, request a correction to your data, deactivate your account or delete your account.

Learn more about taking control of your data Visit your Data and Privacy page

Analytics

If you choose to opt in, your iOS and iPadOS devices can collect analytics about your device and any paired Apple Watch and send it to Apple for analysis. This analysis helps Apple improve products and reduce problems like apps crashing. The collected information does not identify you personally and can be sent to Apple only with your explicit consent. Analytics may include details about hardware and operating system specifications, performance statistics, and data about how you use your devices and applications. When it’s collected, personal data is either not logged at all, removed from reports before they’re sent to Apple, or protected by techniques such as Differential Privacy.

The information we gather using Differential Privacy helps us improve our services without compromising individual privacy. For example, this technology improves QuickType and emoji suggestions, as well as Lookup Hints in Notes.

We now identify commonly used data types in the Health app and web domains in Safari that cause performance issues. This information will allow us to work with developers to improve your experience without revealing anything about your individual behaviour.

If you give your explicit consent to share iCloud Analytics, Apple can improve Siri and other intelligent features by analyzing how you use iCloud data from your account, such as text snippets from email messages. Analysis happens only after the data has gone through privacy-enhancing techniques like Differential Privacy so that it cannot be associated with you or your account.

Advertising

Apple is committed to delivering advertising in a way that respects your privacy. Ads that are delivered by Apple may appear in the App Store, Apple News or the Stocks app. Ads in the App Store, Apple News and Stocks do not access user data from other Apple services like Apple Pay, Maps, Siri, iMessage and iCloud. They also don’t use data from user devices through services and functions such as the Health app, HomeKit, email, contacts or call history. In the App Store and Apple News, your search and download history may be used to serve you relevant search ads. In the Apple News and Stocks apps, ads are served based partly on what you read or follow. This includes publishers for whom you’ve enabled notifications and the type of publishing subscription you have. The articles you read are not used to serve targeted ads to you outside these apps, and information collected about what you read is linked to a random identifier rather than your Apple ID. You can always turn on Limit Ad Tracking to stop receiving targeted ads in Apple News, Stocks and the App Store. You may still receive the same number of ads, but the ads may be less relevant to you.

Limiting targeted interest-based ads

To help protect your privacy, we have developed the nonpersistent Advertising Identifier. This requires all ads in every app to clearly indicate that they are advertisements, and they’re marked so you can see why you were served a particular ad. You can also go into Settings to view what data may be used to determine which ads are delivered to you. Advertisers use the Advertising Identifier to control the number of times you see a given ad, to measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns and to serve you more relevant ads, but you can always choose to opt out. When you enable Limit Ad Tracking, your Advertising Identifier cannot be used by third-party apps to serve you targeted ads. Apple’s advertising service won’t serve interest-based ads to children under 13 and Managed Apple IDs. And Apple has strong guidelines for apps in the Kids category of the App Store to protect children from seeing improper advertising.

More ways to keep your data safe.

Keep an eye out for fraudulent attempts to acquire your personal information.

Pay attention to notifications.

When you sign in for the first time on a new device, update your payment method, change your password or make other changes to your account, Apple notifies you with an email or a push notification. So if you receive a notification from us about a change that you don’t remember making, it could mean that someone has wrongfully accessed your account. If that happens, go to “Manage your Apple ID” to change your password immediately. If you need additional help, contact Apple Support for assistance.

Change your Apple ID password Contact Apple ID Support

Beware of phishing.

“Phishing” refers to fraudulent attempts to get personal information from you, such as your Apple ID password or credit card information, usually through an email or text message. The request may appear to be from a legitimate company or individual, but it’s not. Turning on two-factor authentication is the best way to protect yourself against phishing schemes designed to trick you into revealing your Apple ID account credentials. Never provide your password, verification codes or any other sensitive account information over email or text messages. If you receive what you believe to be a phishing email purporting to be from Apple, send it to reportphishing@apple.com.

Learn more about protecting yourself from phishing

Learn more about privacy at Apple.