This way you can use the internet safely on iPhone and iPad

Protect your privacy with these 6 tips!

In this article we explain how you can arrange iPhone and iPad in such a way that you are protected as much as possible while surfing the internet. Don’t waste your privacy with these 6 tips!

More secure while surfing the internet

Whether it’s about data-hungry companies such as Facebook, the threat of identity theft or gazing at governments: it’s best to protect yourself. This involves two things: ensuring that you can use the internet safely and protect your privacy. It is never entirely possible to achieve 100% privacy online. It is usually a trade-off between convenience and the risks that you want to run. If you use an internet connection you can be traced in all sorts of ways. Every time you visit a website you leave traces in the form of cookies and trackers. Sometimes it is meant to build a profile of yours, sometimes to show you targeted advertisements. Your IP address, location, computer type and browser type, it can all be recorded. You may find it harmless, but the moment you are confronted with information that you thought you had kept secret, you might think differently.

  • Secure chat service
  • Secure VPN
  • Safe search engine
  • Internet in private window
  • Tor
  • To check

# 1 Use a secure chat service

For many people, “surfing the net” is not so much browsing the browser, but hanging around in a chat app. You send a lot of privacy-sensitive information through chats unnoticed. You confess secrets and share photos that you would rather not see the whole world see. Fortunately, you can easily switch to a secure chat service. You may already be using that: with WhatsApp all your chats are encrypted end-to-end by default (although of course you don’t know what Facebook will do with your data, such as your friends list with contacts). You could also opt for a secure chat service with encryption from a less data-hungry party, such as Signal.

# 2 Use a good VPN

One of the best ways to protect yourself while surfing the web is by using a VPN connection. A Virtual Private Network provides a secure internet connection and hides your IP address, while at the same time the data you send is encrypted. You may think that the connection via your mobile provider is secure, but you may not want your provider to know which websites you visit and which apps you use. They can save this data and make it available if the authorities request it. If you use a VPN, providers will only know when you connected to the VPN provider, but not what you have done.

But choose a good VPN provider. Unfortunately, the offer is rather large and opaque and you do not know with some providers what they do with your data. In any case, choose a provider that uses the OpenVPN standard, does not maintain log files and is located in a country that does not have a data exchange agreement with, for example, the US or China. Only a few remain. Examples are: Cactus VPN (Moldova), VPNarea (Bulgaria), BlackVPN (Hong Kong), NordVPN (Panama), (Malaysia) and SaferVPN (Israel).

In addition, it will be important which locations you can choose for the VPN, so that you can, for example, “use the internet like at home” when you are abroad.

The disadvantage of a VPN is that the speed is often slower and that can be annoying if you want to use the VPN continuously. See which VPN apps for iOS are available in the round-up below.

# 3 Use a secure search engine

Google is the first choice for many people, but Google is not really privacy friendly. Rather choose the Dutch search engine, which does not record your searches, builds up a profile and allows you to open web pages via a proxy. That way you can never find out that it was you who requested an article about foot odor or some other physical discomfort.

Another option is DuckDuckGo, which you can set as the default search engine on your iPhone. You can save your search history here, but just as easily throw it away. Keep in mind that DuckDuckGo is an American company and must therefore comply with the rules of the American government. You are better off with the Dutch Startpage, where the (European) privacy rules are stricter.

# 4 Internet in private window

With the private mode of Safari you can use the internet without saving your browsing history. This is ideal if you want to visit a website that others may not know about. When the page is closed, no data is stored, including cookies. It works on both the iPhone, iPad and Mac. This makes tracking a lot harder.

# 5 Use Tor

You may think that Safari is good for you, because Apple places so much emphasis on privacy. But that is not the case: Apple does not protect you completely against unbridled data collection when you visit websites such as Facebook. Such companies have found smart methods to ensure that they can still follow you, even if you don’t have an account. When viewing websites, you also have to deal with ad trackers and cookies. Apple makes every effort to protect you better and better, but you are not 100% protected. The incognito mode of browsers such as Google Chrome is also not effective.

If you really want to browse safely, you must use the Tor network. This originated from the US government and is used by security services, but is also available to ordinary citizens. With encryption and different layers it is impossible to find out that it is you. So you are anonymous. The app that you can use for this is the Onion Browser for iOS. There are more Tor browsers, but it is not always certain if they are really safe.

Because Tor works via different servers, your identity and location cannot be traced. However, it does mean that surfing the internet is a lot slower. Unfortunately, little can be done about this. You could also combine Tor with a VPN, because Tor is never completely secure. The first node in the Tor network can retrieve your IP address and at the last node your data is stripped of encryption and could be read out at that time. You first switch on your VPN and then Tor. It can also be the other way around, which can lead to better anonymity.

# 6 Check if you are really anonymous

If you have taken the above measures, you naturally want to know if it helps. For this you need to go to websites such as or, to see which IP address is visible to others. You can also see here at which location you are and with which provider you are connected, for example with the network of your mobile provider. Your internet connection can also tell you which browser, which device and which version of iOS you are using.

More security tips? Then take a look at this one!

  • This way you can protect Notes with a password on iPhone and iPad
  • Improve the security of your iPhone and iPad in 10 steps
  • This way you protect your WhatsApp account with two-step verification
  • This way you can protect your router better
  • Protecting privacy on iPhone and iPad: 8 tips that make you feel safer


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