A new feature in iOS 16 will let you perform a quick audit of your apps and data to see what information is being shared from your device. This Safety Check will help you determine which apps and people are using which information and you can quickly and easily change these permissions should you wish. This short and easy-to-follow walkthrough will guide you through both the Emergency Reset and the Manage Sharing and Access processes.
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There’s a very important new feature in iOS 16 called Safety Check, which is a useful thing for everyone to know about because it’s something you can all use to make the best use of your iPhone and to keep your stuff private.
I’m going to go into the Settings app, and then scroll down to Privacy and Security.
From here, towards the bottom of this screen, you’ll find the new option for Safety Check.
Now, I mentioned earlier there are two ways this works: one is for an emergency situation which is a quick and simple way to protect yourself and your device and the other way is for a more general – perhaps the annual check of how your data is being used.
Let’s have a look at that option first.
I’m going to tap on the option that says Manage Sharing and Access and from here it’s going to guide us through a three-step process to make sure that our data, our apps, and the people that can see our data, are all set up the way we want.
As we continue through, it’s a guided process that explains everything very clearly and it’s incredibly clever.
All the information it surfaces to show you, for example it doesn’t just show who you’re sharing your location with in Find My, it will pick up anyone that you’re perhaps sharing a Note with or that you’ve got a shared Photo Album with, or any other kind of shared connection you didn’t realise.
As well as viewing it on a person-by-person basis, if I tap Information it will then group it all together.
It will show me everyone that can see Photos, everyone that can see Notes and so on.
Of course I can tap onto any of these and revoke that permission at any time.
As I move on to the apps it will do a very similar thing, it will show me each app in turn and what it has access to on my device.
For example the B&Q app has got access to my Camera and my Bluetooth, and for a DIY store that seems kind of pointless!
So I can turn those two off.
Again we can view this by the category itself, so any app that can use Bluetooth, any app that can see your Photos and so on.
And we can go through all of those.
The third and final step is your Account Security.
We can see what devices are linked to your account and then we can change other Account Settings.
When you finish this process you’ll have a better idea of what data is going in and out of your phone, and who has access to what.
I reckon this is a great thing to do every year – and just make sure that things are set up as you want them to.
The second mode is called Emergency Reset.
Now, this is a very powerful tool that can basically pull access from your entire device from other people.
That means that people can’t see where you are, they can’t access your photos, your messages, any shared documents – all of that is unplugged.
Now, I’m not going to go through this whole process because I don’t want to reset all of my phone’s connections, but if you do need to do this it’s very clearly explained.
As you go through it will save every step of the way, so if you get part of the way and have to stop it will save how far you’ve got and those changes will be applied.
Do be aware though that if you’re revoking access to someone seeing your data, they may get a notification about that as well.
The last thing to mention here is that in the top right corner is a Quick Exit button, and when you tap on that it will close the Settings app completely so that people looking over your shoulder can’t see what you’ve been doing.
That’s Safety Check on iOS 16.