iPhone For Dummies, 13th Edition
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Your iPhone’s native internet browser is a thing of beauty. But, along with the riches galore found on the Internet are places in cyberspace where you’re hassled. You might want to take pains to maintain your iPhone’s security.

iPhone internet security ©Shutterstock/Tetiana Maltseva

Go to Settings by tapping the Settings icon on the Home page. Now tap Safari. You’ve already discovered how to change the default search engine and clear the record of the sites you visited through Settings. Now see what else you can do:

  • Fill out forms with AutoFill: When AutoFill is turned on, Safari can automatically fill out web forms by using your personal contact information, usernames, passwords, and credit card information.
  • Flip the switch on the Frequently Visited Sites setting: Choose this setting if you want your iPhone to keep a record of such sites.
  • Play favorites: You can choose whether to quickly access Favorites bookmarks when you enter an address, search, or create a tab.
  • Open links: Decide whether links will open in a new tab or in the background.
  • Show Tab bar: Determine whether to keep the tab bar in Safari visible when you're holding your iPhone sideways (landscape mode).
  • Show icons in tabs: A cosmetic choice that’s entirely up to each iPhone user.
  • Prevent Cross-Site Tracking: A privacy measure turned on by default prevents advertisers from tracking you as you browse.
  • Block cookies: Cookies are tiny bits of information that a website places on the iPhone when you visit so that the site recognizes you when you return. You need not assume the worst: Most cookies are benign and many are beneficial.

    If this concept wigs you out, you can take action: Tap Block Cookies to always block cookies. Or you can allow them under certain circumstances. That is, you can choose to allow cookies from the current website you’re visiting or any of the websites you visit. Or you can always allow cookies.

    If you don’t set the iPhone to accept cookies, certain web pages don’t load properly and sites such as Amazon and organizations you belong to will no longer recognize you when you appear.

  • Hide your tracks: By turning on Ask websites Not To Track Me, you’re taking an additional safeguard to help protect the info on your iPhone.
  • Field search suggestions: Choose whether to turn on search engine suggestions, Safari Suggestions, Quick website search, or to preload the Top Hit when you’re searching in the smart search field. It’s worth noting that unless you alter your iPhone’s privacy settings, when you enable Safari Suggestions, your search queries, usage data and Safari Suggestions that you select are shared with Apple.
  • Save Reading List Offline: When turned on, this option lets you save reading list items from iCloud so you can read them offline.
  • Turn JavaScript on or off: Programmers use JavaScript to add various kinds of functionality to web pages, such as displaying the date and time or changing images when you access them. In the past, some security risks have also been associated with JavaScript, though none are known to affect mobile Safari. You find this option under Advanced in Safari settings.
  • Receive fraud warnings: By turning on this setting, you’ll be warned when you inadvertently visit a fraudulent website, perhaps one engaging in phishing or pharming scams to steal your username, password, and other account info. Fraudulent sites sometimes masquerade as legitimate banks or other financial institutions to trick you into surrendering data. As a result, it’s a good idea to keep this iPhone setting turned on.
  • Check for Apple Pay: You can use the Apple Pay mobile payments technology when you’re shopping on the web with your iPhone. Once you’ve set up Apple Pay, Safari has all your payment and shipping information, so you can easily complete the transaction with your fingerprint or (if using the iPhone X, XR, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max) Face ID. In Settings, make sure the Check for Apple Pay switch is enabled.
  • Block pop-ups: Pop-ups are those web pages that show up whether you want them to or not. Often, they’re annoying advertisements. But at some sites, you’ll welcome the appearance of pop-ups, so remember to turn off blocking under such circumstances.
  • Determine advanced settings: The settings under Advanced aren’t meant for regular folks. You’ll find information here on website data, JavaScript,\ and a web Inspector tool that can assist techies in resolving web page errors when your phone is connected by cable to a computer. There’s experimental features here too best left alone.

With iOS 13, Apple also lets you customize settings on a per-website basis. Tap the aA icon, and then tap website Settings on the menu. For the given site, you can determine whether to grant access to the camera, microphone, and location by tapping Ask, Deny, or Allow.

In addition, you can flip on switches to automatically request the desktop website or to use the Reader automatically for the chosen site.

Back in Settings, you get to decide whether all sites have to ask for camera, mic, or location access, or whether you will automatically allow or deny such requests for all the sites. And you can select Page Zoom settings for all your sites as well, ranging from 50 to 300 percent.

Taming Safari is just the start of exploiting the Internet on the iPhone.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Edward C. Baig is the personal and consumer technology columnist for USA Today, where he reviews the latest gadgets and reports on tech trends.

Bob LeVitus has written nearly 100 reference books on Apple technologies. He’s the author or coauthor of macOS For Dummies, iPad For Dummies, and iPhone For Dummies, among others.

Dwight Spivey probably wrote the rest of the For Dummies books on Apple products, including iPhone For Seniors For Dummies, iPad For Seniors For Dummies, and Apple Watch For Seniors For Dummies.

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