How to prevent cross-site tracking in Safari on iPhone

Online privacy is the need of the hour. There are always new ways to track user data for advertising. One such element is trackers, notorious for collecting your data online. Although tracking is common on Apple devices, luckily you can prevent cross-site tracking in Safari on iPhone.

How to prevent cross-site tracking in Safari on iPhone

Apple offers a built-in method to disable trackers called Prevent Cross-Site Tracking on the iPhone. This will help you restrict third-party cookies while browsing in Safari. As you read this article, we’ll help you understand how this feature can help and how to enable it along with other iPhone privacy features that can further improve your online security. Let’s start.

What is cross-site tracking on iPhone

Have you ever searched for something online and been bombarded with ads? Well, ad trackers are your main culprits. They steal your browsing data to serve you relevant ads.

Browser trackers are web page tags that collect information about your online habits and preferences to understand your behavior. Various websites contain trackers that can follow you online to create a profile for advertising. This is how ad services can deliver relevant ads to your devices every time.

What’s worse are third-party trackers. They are hosted by websites you didn’t visit in the first place. They usually happen through ad networks that you haven’t even consented to sharing your information with. But there is a way to stop them. Go to the next section to learn more.

How to turn off cross-site tracking on iPhone

Here’s a step-by-step procedure to turn off website-based tracking on iPhone.

Step 1: Open the Settings app.

Open Settings

step 2: Select Safari.

Open Safari

step 3: Turn on “Prevent Cross-Site Tracking” under “Privacy & Security”.

Turn on the switch

Step 4: Select the Hide IP Address option.

Select Hide IP Address

step 5: Now select From Trackers.

Choose from trackers

That’s all you need to do to turn off cross-site tracking in Safari on iPhone. However, many users report that this option is not available on their devices. If you are facing a similar problem, don’t worry. This is not a mistake. Go to the next section to understand it better.

Why is the option to prevent cross-site tracking not available on iPhone?

The “Prevent Cross-Site Access” option is grayed out, probably because you have blocked cookies on your iPhone. Trackers use cookies to collect your data, so if you disable the cookie option, trackers will simply not be able to collect data.

Grayout Cross-Site Tracking Prevention

Well, now that you’re in the know, let’s take things up a notch. When you enable the Prevent Cross-Site Tracking option in Safari, you also enable the browser’s privacy statement. What is it and how does it work, you ask? Let’s find out.

What is the iPhone privacy report and how to view it

Every time you visit a website in Safari that tries to track you, Safari records and creates a summary in an easy-to-read format showing how many websites it has blocked from accessing your data. Apple calls this a privacy statement. This will give you an idea of ​​the websites that are trying to track you.

Here’s how you can access this report:

Step 1: On a website open in Safari, click the “AA” button.

Choose

step 2: Select “Privacy Report”.

Select Privacy Statement

That’s all. You can now see the privacy statement. It displays the total number of trackers that failed to collect your data and the total percentage of websites that contacted the trackers.

You can also see the website that has tried to track you the most. If you scroll down, you can also see a list of websites that have tried to track you and the number of trackers.

Privacy Statement

The Privacy Report is a great feature that quantifies Apple’s claims about how seriously it takes user privacy. However, this is not the case. Apple has added many options to improve your online privacy.

What does “trackers are not allowed to create your profile” mean in the privacy statement?

So when trackers capture data related to your browsing activity, they essentially create a data “profile” of you. This profile is then mainly used by advertising agencies to send personalized advertisements. If you enable the switch to prevent cross-site tracking in Safari, you will be protected from profiling. Therefore, your data will not be accessible to these trackers, and therefore Safari will display the number of trackers it has not allowed to create your profile.

More privacy options for safe browsing on iPhone

While turning on Prevent Cross-Site Tracking protects you from trackers, there are other settings that can further enhance your privacy and help you browse safely and privately in Safari. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Options in Safari settings

As you may have noticed when you enable cross-site protection, there are other settings below it that we recommend you use for your privacy. Here’s what each option means and why you should enable it.

Other-Privacy-Settings
  • Fraud website warning: This feature contains a flag and warns you if you are trying to access a site with malicious content and elements.
  • Privacy ad measurement: Enabling this feature will allow advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their ads on websites without compromising user privacy.
  • Check out Apple Pay: We recommend disabling this option. Once disabled, websites you open in Safari won’t be able to check if you’re using Apple Pay.

2. Turn off location access for Safari websites

You can prevent websites from tracking your location in Safari. This will block trackers from accessing your geographic location. Here’s how to turn off location access.

Step 1: Go to privacy in settings.

Select Privacy

step 2: Select Location Services.

Select Location Services

step 3: Click on Safari Websites.

Select Safari Websites

Step 4: Select Never.

Select Never

Prevent cross-site tracking to improve privacy

Here’s how you can prevent cross-site tracking in Safari on iPhone. Disabling third-party cookies is an effective way to prevent websites from tracking you. Also, I believe privacy reports will give you a better understanding of which sites to avoid based on how many trackers they have. Happy safe and private browsing!