Have you ever wondered why ads follow you all over the internet? Why do you see only those products in the ads which you have viewed recently on various e-commerce websites? This is due to the Ad Tracking feature which analyses your shopping behavior and shows you the targeted ads.
Apple has made it clear that it does not track the user’s activities by following them across different apps and websites. However, if you do not like the idea of advertisers keeping track of online activities by following you on the web, you can deny them permission of doing so.
Yes, you heard it right! With the launch of the iOS 14.5 updates, Apple has given you the power to restrict advertisers from accessing the IDFA. Let’s see how you can block the targeted advertising on Apple.
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What Is Ad Tracking technology
Ad tracking is a phenomenon used by advertisers and other e-commerce platforms to understand user’s activities by following them across various apps and websites. After analyzing their online habits, relevant ads are served to the users.
Ad trackers are used for tracking your online activities which are small pieces of code attached to your iPhone/iPad and Mac. These trackers collect your browsing habits which are utilized by the advertisers to show you only those ads which they think will be relevant to you.
It is important to know that blocking the advertisers from analyzing your online activities and collecting data will not stop ads from appearing. Ads will still appear for you however, this time; the ads will not be relevant to you like before.
Drawbacks of Blocking Ad Tracking Technology
While blocking the ad trackers may protect your privacy, it also comes with these drawbacks.
Cookies: Usually, ad tracking is limited by disabling the cookies on the web browser. To block the cookies, head to the settings on Safari and choose the ‘block all cookies option. This method is easy but is not recommended as it restricts the website from remembering if you are logged in.
Non-relevant ads: When you block the ad trackers, they cannot monitor your browsing habits hence, they show ads that are not at all relevant to you. When you see customized ads, you may come across a certain product that may be beneficial for you. With the trackers turned off, this is not likely to happen.
Enable Content & Privacy Restrictions on iOS/ iPadOS Devices
To block the ad trackers on your iPhone and iPad, follow the steps below:
- Head to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Next, select the ‘Screen Time’ tab.
- Now choose the ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’ option.
- Turn on the toggle for Content & Privacy Restrictions to block the ad tracking on Apple devices.
- Next, select the Privacy section under ‘Apple Advertising’.
- Enter the passcode when you are prompted and block the Apple advertising by choosing the ‘Do not Allow’ option.
Disable Targeted Ads on iPhone and iPad
With the iOS 14.5 update, Apple has given you the right to block the personalized ads on your Apple device. As mentioned earlier, if you disable this feature, you will still see the same number of ads as before. However, Apple will not be able to show you the relevant ads as before.
To disable the targeted ads feature on your iPhone and iPad, follow the steps below:
- Launch the Settings app on your iPhone and iPad.
- Next, choose the ‘Privacy’ tab.
- Scroll down in the privacy tab and choose the ‘Apple Advertising’ option.
- Now disable the toggle next to the Personalised Ads on your Apple Device.
Block Ad Tracking using a VPN
Apart from enabling the content and privacy restrictions and disabling the ‘targeted ad’ option, you can also use a VPN to block ad tracking. Installing the VPN technology is an effective way to block advertisers from tracking your online activities.
VPN is a Virtual Private Network that acts as a tunnel between the device or web browser and the server. This tunnel does not let anyone track your activities and access your personal information such as your location. Nowadays, a lot of antiviruses come with an inbuilt VPN so you don’t have to install them separately.
That’s pretty much what you need to know about Apple’s Ad tracking feature which is used to target relevant ads to you. We have also explained how you can get rid of the ad trackers to maintain your privacy. Even though Apple is quite strict in maintaining the privacy of the users, you should do all that’s possible to protect your online information.