Are you seeing a privacy warning when using a Wi-Fi network on your iPhone? Worry not, there’s an easy fix. We break down what the privacy warning means and how to fix it. See below for the steps you can take to make it go away.
What does a privacy warning mean on Wi-Fi with an iPhone?
It’s likely you’re seeing a privacy warning on a Wi-Fi network if your Mac address isn’t masked, allowing your device to be tracked.
But what does this mean? Is it dangerous?
Apple has introduced several features to ensure each user maintains their privacy. Expanding on this idea, the company introduced a Wi-Fi privacy warning with iOS 14. When you’re using a Wi-Fi network on an iPhone device, you’re using a private address unique to your network. This can reduce tracking.
Now when you get a privacy warning, it means the Wi-Fi network isn’t using a private, unique address. This increases your chances of being tracked. It isn’t “dangerous”, and it doesn’t mean you’ve been hacked. But it can give up personal information about your browsing habits, which helps build a “profile.”
Advertisers can use this profile data to learn more about your preferences and target you with personalized advertisements. Sometimes this data can also be used to identify and build behavior patterns. In worst cases, this data can be used against you in court.
However, don’t let this scare you. Fixing this is fairly easy as you’ll see below.
What you can do when you see a privacy warning on Wi-Fi
Want to fix the privacy issue and get rid of the privacy warning? Here’s how.
- Open your Settings on any iOS device.
- Click on the “Wi-Fi” tab.
- Click on the (i) icon that appears on the right side of the Wi-Fi network showing the privacy warning.
- Look for the “Private Address” option.
- Toggle it on to secure the connection. This will make the privacy warning go away.
- Go back to the “Wi-Fi” page and rejoin the network. The warning should have disappeared.
If this doesn’t work, try the following options:
- Wait for a few minutes and try to toggle the “Private Address” option on again.
- Turn on Airplane Mode, then turn it off and try to rejoin the Wi-Fi network.
- Restart your iOS device after enabling the “Private Address” option.