This setting prevents tracking

Privacy is essential in Apple systems, and an element we can easily miss with something as simple as connecting to a specific Wi-Fi network. When we connect to a network, say with our new iPhone 14, we use it to swap the MAC address – not to be confused with the computer – of the network card. This address never changes as it is like registering the card and that’s exactly what can make them pursue us.

I eat? Simple, compare this address for all our connections. Connections both within the network and in other networks with which data can be exchanged. In view of this, Apple offers us an adjustment with it The WiFi of our iPhone 14 and earlier models can be much more private.

The MAC address as a unique identifier

It’s possible that we’ve all assumed that when we connect to the internet, we reveal our IP address. So that the packets of information leaving our devices reach their destination and we can get the distance. Something similar happens at the local network level with the MAC address. our network card. The router or access point that we connect to needs to know this address in order to send us the information packets.

As previously mentioned, this Media Access Control (MAC) address has been embedded on the same card since it was manufactured and never changes. Thanks to this, for example, we can configure our network so that only devices with a specific MAC address can access it, something called MAC filtering, although it is not recommended for its low level of accuracy. In addition, the The access point administrator can register such a MAC and use the address to follow us.

If we are talking about an extended network, such as that of a museum, knowing which access point we are at can determine location. While they can know even in the smallest networks how often we visit a facility via that unique identifier.

How and why the MAC address of our wireless network is randomized

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To prevent us from being tracked by our MAC address, it’s as simple as enabling private Wi-Fi address on our devices. Included the system regularly takes care of changing the address, so we can’t be tracked by a changing identifier. Enabling this setting is as easy as following these steps:

  1. Usually we connect to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. We open the app settings on our iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch.
  3. We came in Wireless Internet access.
  4. We touch the network to which we are connected.
  5. we activate Private Wi-Fi address.

And that’s it. From now on, whenever we connect to the network we just enabled the feature for, the random address will be used. This address changes from time to time, so long-term monitoring is not possible.

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A detail that could go unnoticed, but that’s something to keep in mind. While this feature is generally enabled by default, it never hurts to make sure. In short, a way to avoid tracking that is as simple as it is effective.

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