Securing Mobile: Settings

iOS 14

  • Apple ID: Password & Security: Two-Factor Authenticaton: On
  • Apple ID: iCloud: Disable everything
  • Apple ID: Find My: Share My Location: Off
  • Wi-Fi: Ask to Join Networks: Off
  • Wi-Fi: Auto-Join Hotspot: Off
  • Cellular: SIM PIN: Create a custom PIN
  • Bluetooth: Off unless needed.
  • Notifications: Show Previews: Never
  • General: Software Update: Automatic Updates: On
  • General: AirDrop: Off unless needed, then restricted to contacts.
  • General: AirPlay & Handoff: Disable everything unless needed
  • General: Background App Refresh: Off
  • Display & Brightness: Auto-Lock: the shortest option you can reasonably put up with. Do not set it to leave the screen turned on.
  • Touch ID & Passcode: Use Touch ID For: iPhone Unlock: Off
  • Touch ID & Passcode: iTunes & App Store: Apple Pay: Off
  • Touch ID & Passcode: iTunes & App Store: Password AutoFill: Off
  • Touch ID & Passcode: Turn Passcode On: Try to set a password if possible, otherwise use a six-digit PIN
  • Touch ID & Passcode: Require Passcode: Immediately
  • Touch ID & Passcode: Allow Access When Locked: the fewer the better
  • Touch ID & Passcode: Erase Data: Enabled (Beware of this setting, make sure you understand it).
  • Siri & Search: Disable everything completely
  • Exposure Notifications: Disable unless required or you want to opt-in.
  • Privacy: Location Services: Disable for everything except navigation apps, and set those to "While Using"
  • Privacy: Location Services: System Services: Disable all (trust me, it won't cause any problems)
  • Privacy: review all the other settings and make sure apps only have access to the settings they actually need. Otherwise, disable them. Disable as many as you can without breaking the app functionality.
  • Privacy: Analytics & Improvements: Share iPhone Analytics: Off
  • Privacy: Analytics & Improvements: Improve Siri & Dictation: Off
  • Privacy: Analytics & Improvements: Share iCloud Analytics: Off
  • Privacy: Advertising: Limit Ad Tracking: On
  • Privacy: Advertising: Reset Advertising Identifier
  • Finally, scroll back to Screen Time: Content & Privacy Restrictions: Enable, and set every setting to "Don't Allow." This will ensure that Apple doesn't make any changes to your privacy settings automatically when updating the OS.
  • Delete every unused app you can.

Android 9.0

NOTE: Due to the nature of Android devices, the exact layout of the menu may vary from device to device, but here's how the Samsung Galaxy 8+ worked:
  • Connections: Bluetooth: Off
  • Connections: NFC and payment: Off
  • Connections: More connection settings: Nearby device scanning: Off
  • Connections: More connection settings: printing: default print service: Off
  • Connections: More connection settings: Private DNS: Try one from PrivacyTools.io's list
  • Notifications: (select app): In-app notification settings: Show: Name only or No name or message
  • Lock screen: Screen lock type: Try to set a password if possible, otherwise use a six-digit PIN
  • Lock screen: Smart Lock: Don’t enable
  • Lock screen: Secure lock settings: Lock Automatically: Yes
  • Lock screen: Secure lock settings: Lock Automatically: Auto factory reset
  • Lock screen: Secure lock settings: Lock Automatically: lock network and security: On
  • Lock screen: Secure lock settings: Lock Automatically: Show lockdown options: Off
  • Lock Screen: Contact information: Leave this blank unless you have a good reason not to
  • Biometrics and security: No biometrics at all
  • Biometrics and security: Find My Device: I recommend no unless you're prone to losing your devices
  • Biometrics and security: Secure folder: Couldn't hurt, but up to you
  • Biometrics and security: Secure startup: Enable
  • Biometrics and security: Encrypt SD Card: Yes
  • Biometrics and security: Privacy: Location: Off (If you need it on for certain apps, then enable it but disable location permissions in all the apps that don't need it)
  • Biometrics and security: Privacy: App permissions: Go through each app and reevaluate their permissions
  • Biometrics and security: Privacy: Send diagnostic data: Off
  • Biometrics and security: Other security settings: Set up SIM card lock
  • Biometrics and security: Other security settings: Security policy updates: Auto update
  • Accounts and backup: Backup and restore: Back up my data
  • Advanced features: Send SOS messages
  • Advanced featrues: Emergency mode

By enabling all of these settings, you are significantly reducing the amount of tracking and data collection these devices handle. Keep in mind that you're not completely eliminating it, but you're reducing as much as you reasonably can.


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