How to Browse the Web Anonymously on an iPhone to Protect Your Privacy and Data
To browse the web anonymously using an iPhone you must actively manage the apps and settings on your device to protect your information sent by your device. Web browsers gives away information like your IP address, geographical location, web browser type, device, and if you have visited the website before and when. If you want to browse the web anonymously on iPhone then you’ll have to adjust your permissions given to apps, possibly remove some apps, and change the privacy settings on your iPhone. If there is only one takeaway from the numerous Facebook hearing in front of the US Congress, you should have learned that social media apps, games, and websites make money by gathering information about you while you surf the web.
US President Donald Trump signed legislation in 2017 that allows internet service providers (ISPs) to sell customer data without the permission of their customers. That means every time you connect to the internet at home, at the office, or anywhere else, your ISP might collect information about what you looked at online.
Broadband providers Comcast and Verizon both attempted to quell customer fears and stated they do not and will not sell customer browsing data.
How to browse the web anonymously on iPhone
- Use DuckDuckGo for search
- Manage how your browsing history
- Use a VPN
- Use TOR Browser
- Use a Safari Private Browsing window
Use HTTPS Sites
HTTPS is an internet protocol that means the website identity has been verified and it is using internet technology called a security certificate to ensure user data a secured when it arrives at the website. HTTPS website is necessary for any site that processes eCommerce transactions, financial accounts, or even sites that simply have username and password logins. Most websites are using HTTPS to secure thier data even when they are news and information websites like this one https://www.askcybersecurity.com
An https website ensures that all your data is secure. However, it does not mean that your data is secure while it is in sight between your phone and the website well your information like username passwords credit card numbers is in transit you must make sure the bad connection is secure to buy using secure WiFi.
Change Safari Privacy Settings
- Open Safari
- From the menu bar go to File > New Private Window from or click Shift+Command+N
- A new Safari window opens
When you open other tabs, they will also be in private mode.
No matter which web browser you use, don’t install plug-ins or addons. Even if you have all your privacy settings clamped down for an anonymous iPhone web browsing experience your data and behavior may be leaked through a plugin without your knowledge. Sometimes this is intentional data-gathering at the behest of the plugin developer. Like all apps, plugins may be hacked, especially if they are not kept up to date.
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Use DuckDuckGo for Search
Google.com is a search engine used to query online information. When you query something on Google or ask Google Home assistant something, not only does the search engine return information that it believes is relevant, it also records your query for marketing purposes.
Chrome web browser is another Google product that tracks your information including what websites you visited and what words you used in search Google search queries. That data from your web browsing behavior is matched up with other information collected about you from other Google products like Google Maps, YouTube and other apps in the Play Store. The data has been aggregated and sold to advertisers bid their advertising dollars to show you ads based on your behaviors online.
Search engines like DuckDuckGo does not track and store your search queries for the web sites you visited online. If you want to browse the web anonymously or at least not have your web browser activity tracked, then try a search engine like DuckDuckGo instead.
Don’t Use Public WiFi
Public WiFi is any kind of shared internet connection like those found in coffee shops, hotels airports retail stores even in your office. Anyone who is using the same internet connection as you and spy on the information going to and from your phone while it is in transit an app or website.
Even if the WiFi connection has a username and password if someone else is also connected to it, passwords or not they can half the information from your iPhone.
If you must use a public WiFi connection, then use a VPN to encrypt your data.
We wrote about why avoiding public WiFi is important – read that post here.
Use a VPN to Encrypt Data
Using a VPN is one of the best ways to browse the web Nana anonymously iPhone or any device. VPN short for, Virtual Private Network, stops your ISP from tracking you and hackers from intercepting your information. No one will be able to see the websites you visited the apps you used, and what content you looked at, or videos you watched online.
Downloading and using a VPN is easy. There are lots of options available but they usually come with bad with instructions and data limit. Free VPN apps usually don’t let you select a server to use or what country to route your traffic through.
VPN apps without data limits usually require a monthly subscription service but they’re pretty cheap are only a few dollars a month you can protect the data on your iPhone and browse the web anonymously with any iOS device or other device.
We Used the VPNs to Browse the Web Anonymously
Try a Secure Browser like Tor or Brave Browser
Even if you change your privacy settings in safari Thomas Cromwell or other web browser there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to browse the web anonymously on your iPhone or other device. Apps like Chrome and other Google products are notorious or finding ways I’m tracking your location an internet activity.
To get a truly Anonymous web browsing experience don’t have to download a browser that specifically designed to browse the web anonymously like Tor Browser or Brave Browser.
READ: What Is Brave Browser?
Tor Browser was not available for the iPhone in the past but now there is an iOS download do used for completely anonymously you should couple it with a VPN. Feel connect to a VPN before opening Tor Browser.
How to Browse the Web Anonymously on iPhone Using Tor
- Remove or disable any apps that track your data
- Download and open your VPN app
- Close all other web browser and apps
- Connect to your VPN
- Open Tor Browser and use the web anonymously
Tor Browser blocks browser plugins because they can expose your IP address.
Block Trackers with Your Web Browser
Web trackers call cookies pixel trackers are small snippets of programming code that apps websites and other online services download to your computer to track your behavior across the internet. Sometimes web trackers are legitimate. For example, a credit card app may set a cookie on your iPhone to track your location and your login to reduce fraud. Often web trackers are used to track your internet behavior and shopping habits online and sold to advertisers that show you ads on websites and in apps.
Have you ever shopped online I don’t website and then notice later on or the next day that you start to see advertisements for the very product you were looking at the day before? That’s because your phone was tracked and information sold to Advertiser there’s now showing you ass to get you to complete the sale.
To block web trackers you’ll have to make some changes to your web browser privacy settings or switch to a private web browser like Tor Browser.
How To Block Web Cookies In Safari
Private Browsing does not guarantee an anonymous web browsing experience for iPhone users. According to Apple, it only blocks most, not all, websites from tracking search behavior. When using Safari Private Browsing, Safari won’t retain the web pages you have visited, search queries, or store autofill information.
- Open Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
- Open Safari web browser
- Tap the Menu Button
- Tap Private
- Tap Done
Michelle writes about cyber security, data privacy focusing on social media privacy as well as how to protect your IoT devices. She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years and owns METRONY, LLC. Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michelle published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers