Why every Apple user should be using a VPN

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In this age of constant data leaks, using a VPN to protect your online identity is a must.
In this age of constant data leaks, using a VPN to protect your online identity is a must.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you think the buzz around using a VPN service these days is exaggerated hype and paranoia, think again. Never before have so many day-to-day human interactions and transactions occurred online.

Whether we’re emailing our bosses, checking in with our kids, chatting with our friends or using a plethora of apps to schedule and manage our lives, it all takes place online.

Apple News publishers allowed to test Google DoubleClick ads

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Apple News
Apple News ads could be changing.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is allowing select publishers to test Google DoubleClick ads on its News platform, according to a new report.

It’s said to be part of a plan to make the News app more lucrative for publishing partners, with many disappointed with its existing monetization opportunities.

FBI can keep iPhone hacking details secret

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hacking
Hacking the iPhone caused a standoff between Apple and FBI last year.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A U.S. court ruled over the weekend that the FBI won’t have to reveal to Apple exactly how it was able to hack a terrorist’s iPhone, since this could present security issues.

Federal judge Tanya Chutkan said that naming the vendor which aided the FBI, as well as the amount of money that was paid to it, could invite cyberattacks against the company. In addition, it might lead to the hacking tool which was used being stolen.

Safari 11 privacy feature gets advertisers fuming

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specify settings on a per-site basis
Enable settings on a per-site basis.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple is out to “sabotage the economic model of the internet” as it protects users from shady tracking while browsing the internet, according to several organizations representing digital advertisers.

Six different digital ad and marketing trade associations recently signed and sent an open letter to Apple opposing a pending Safari update aimed at protecting how your browsing data is used.

iOS 11 has another feature to stave off snooping cops

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iOS passcode
It's even tougher for cops to crack into iOS 11.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has made a couple of changes in iOS 11 that make it more difficult for cops to get into your iPhone. We discovered one of those last month, and now another has been uncovered by security software developer ElcomSoft.

It makes it even more difficult for law enforcement to obtain the data on your iPhone, even if they have your fingerprint.

How Apple made the Photos app even more private in iOS 11

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Private photos Linea
App’s like Linea don’t need to read your whole photo library just to save a sketch.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In iOS 11, developers have a new way to access your Photos library: write-only access. Instead of granting permission for an app to read and write to your Photos library, just so it can save the odd image, an app can now only be allowed to write — or save — images, without getting to poke around inside your library to see what else is there. It’s much more private,

How to remove location data from photos you share

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Remove location data maps on bench

Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

When you share a photo via email, iMessage or most other apps, you also send the location of that image. No big deal, right? You’re only sending pictures to people you know anyway. But what about when you sell something on a site like Craigslist or eBay? If you don’t manually remove location data from your pictures, anyone can see where you took your photo, which is probably your home.

Right away, anyone can see where you live, and what you have at home. You still might not care, but if you do, here’s how to remove all that information before you send a photograph. (You’ll also learn about an interesting quirk in iMessage.)

Everything you need to know about Safari 11

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Safari 11 WebRTC support
Apple has partnered with TokBox to enable video streams via WebRTC.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Safari 11 brings some big upgrades to enhance your browsing experience on macOS High Sierra and iOS 11. With the latest iteration of its web browser, Apple aims to shoot down aggressive web practices that hamper user experience, while also adding tons of under-the-hood features. The new Safari also promises to bring increased stability, speed and power efficiency.

Here’s everything you need to know about Safari 11.

National security requests for Apple user data doubled in last half of 2016

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Apple Security Jacket
Apple has shared the number of user data requests it received last year.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

National security requests for user data from Apple doubled in the second half of 2016, compared to the first six months, Apple’s newly-published biannual transparency report reveals.

Apple received somewhere between 5,750 and 5,999 orders during the July-December period of last year, compared to the 2,750 and 2,999 requests it was handed in the January-June period. This represents the highest total count in the 3.5 years since Apple first began releasing this information in a six-monthly report.