Three ways to removing ads from your iPhone apps

Facebook, TV and even Snapchat – it’s hard to get away from adverts these days, especially in the era of unprecedented technological innovation. From the moment you access the internet – whether it’s from your smartphone or desktop computer – you’re being bombarded to buy this, use that, or become this person. In fact, from 2017 to 2018, South Africa’s internet and video game marketing expenditure jumped from $303.4 million to $399.3 million.

How does Apple get ads onto my apps and games?

When you think of Apple, the first thing you may not think of is an advertising agency, however, part of how Apple makes money is by selling ad space through iAds on iOS to businesses and brands through apps and games you download to your smartphone. Smart for them, but annoying for us. iAds allows app developers to earn money without having to do any of the advertising themselves, and in turn, Apple is able to gather information on you in a similar way to Google. For example, when you use an app or a game that has placed iAds in them, Apple can see and store your location, your installed apps and games, how often you use a particular app, which movies or TV shows you’ve watched or what music you listen to on iTunes.

In other words, Apple uses all of that information on you to select specific ads based on your data to target your apps and games. Long gone are the days of ads being a thing of the TV generation.

Okay, I want to stop Apple from advertising through my apps and games. How?

Although you are anonymous to the advertisers using your downloads to target you, just knowing that tech giants are able to use personal information of yours to make more money can rub anyone up the wrong way. So, if you’d like to disable Apple’s iAds on your phone, here’s how…

Option 1: Block websites and advertisers from tracking you in Safari

iOS 11 has built-in features with privacy protections against ads, however, it’s not made obvious to iPhone users. Safari is just like Google in the sense that they use tools and techniques to target you with ads based on your location, browser history and more. Blocking this from happening in pretty easy. Simply go to your Settings and follow the below instructions:

  • Select “Safari”, then “Privacy & Security”
  • Toggle the “Prevent Cross-Site Tracking” to ON
  • You can also toggle “Ask Websites Not To Track Me” and “Block Pop-ups”

Option 2: Limit iAds tracking in your apps and games

This will be specific to the games and apps on your smartphone. Follow the below steps:

  • Tap “Settings”, then “Privacy”
  • Scroll to the bottom, then tap “Advertising”
  • Toggle “Limit Ad Tracking” to ON
  • You can also tap “Reset Advertising Identifier” to clear your data used by iAds to target you

Option 3: Limit location-based ad tracking

Location tracking is one of the most commonly used tools Google and Apple pack your social media accounts and search engine searches with adverts. To limit this, follow these steps..

  • Tap “Settings” then “Privacy”
  • Tap “Location Services” then scroll down and tap “System Services”
  • Look where it says “Location-based Apple Ads” and toggle OFF

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