To help those suffering from online abuse and harassment, Apple has introduced new safety features that provide dedicated tools for managing access to data like location and shared subscriptions.

Thanks to these new tools, victims of abuse can have greater peace of mind knowing their devices are less likely to be used against them.

Apple worked with organizations such as the National Center for Victims of Crime, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence to develop the Safety Check feature.

What is Safety Check on iOS 16?

Safety Check is a feature that allows you to reset your settings in an emergency. This includes turning off location sharing via Find My Location, only allowing messages to be sent from the device you're holding, signing out of iCloud on all other devices so that others are unable to view your messages, and changing your Apple ID password.

It also provides an overview of the people and apps that access your data. Therefore, you can choose to customize settings instead of revoking access if need be. Note that Safety Check will not notify the people you decide to stop sharing information with.

This is useful for not only managing the people who can see your information, but also in giving you quick control over shared albums you may be subscribed to, shared Notes, Health data that you may have shared with others, Calendar subscriptions, and HomeKit-enabled devices. This way, you can disable any features that might pose a security risk.

How can it help someone in an abusive relationship?

Being in an abusive relationship can be terrifying, and it's important to have a way to get out of the situation as quickly as possible. With the Safety Check feature on your iPhone, you can be assured that your phone will be a resourceful aid.

There are a few ways to make your iPhone less accessible to an abuser. For example, if you turn off location sharing, your abuser won't be able to track your whereabouts using your iPhone. And, if you make sure they can't access your messages, you can seek help without worrying that they are spying on your conversations.

Who gets the feature?

The new feature, Safety Check, will only run on iOS 16 and above. This means that users with older versions of iOS will not be able to use this feature.

Other useful iPhone security tips

There are a few things you can do to help protect your privacy when using your iPhone. First, avoid using public Wi-Fi whenever possible. This can be a hotbed for hackers, who are looking to steal your personal information. If you must use public WiFi, be sure to use a VPN to encrypt your data.

Second, be careful about what apps you download and install. Some apps may request access to sensitive data, such as your contacts or location. Only install apps from trusted sources, and be sure to go through the permissions section carefully before granting access.

Third, be mindful of what you share on social media. Avoid sharing personal details or information that could be used for identity theft or fraud. Be especially careful about posting photos that contain GPS data. You can disable the feature in your iPhone's settings.

Safety check feature on iOS 16