By default, Apple devices come set up to protect your privacy, but occasionally, you need to share location data to make certain sites work. Here’s how to keep an eye on who you’re sharing with.
If you’ve left your Mac set up running relatively default settings, Safari shouldn’t automatically share your location with sites without asking you first. From here, you can allow certain sites to access your location data without asking, but this shouldn’t be the default behavior.
To check this, open Safari, then go to the Safari menu and choose “Preferences” here.
Once the preferences window opens, click the “Websites” tab and select “Location” from the menu on the left.
Unlike Google Chrome, which has a menu setting showing you what sites are always allowed to see your location, Safari hides this if you aren’t using it. Instead, you’ll see an empty window reading “No Configured Websites” if you have no tabs open. If you have tabs open, you’ll see the setting for each of these.
You have three options for location access for each website: Ask, Allow, and Deny. The “Ask” option will always ask you before accessing your location data, while the other two options will always allow or deny location data for a given website.
To set this for a website, simply open the website you want to configure, then open Safari preferences. Go to the Websites tab, select “Location” from the menu on the left, and you’ll see the website under the “Currently Open Websites” menu heading. Here, set the website permission to whichever option you prefer.
Once you configure a website, this will always show in the “Location” section of the “Websites” tab, even if it isn’t open. This lets you easily see which websites you’ve configured custom location data settings for.
Similar to Google Chrome on iPhone and iPad, there is no way to see a list of sites that you’ve enabled sharing location data with all in one place. Instead, you can either disable location sharing entirely or manage each website individually.
If all you want to do is turn off location data for Safari, that’s simple. Just keep in mind that this will make certain websites like Google Maps act strangely. This won’t affect apps though, so if you have the Google Maps app installed, that will continue to function normally.
Open the Settings app, then scroll down to Privacy, then here, select Location Services. Scroll down until you see “Safari Websites” and tap the icon. Here, under “Allow Location Access” you can choose from three options.
The “Never” option will never share your location. “While Using the App” will turn off location access whenever you’re not actively using the app, while “Ask Next Time or When I Share” is the equivalent of the “Ask” setting on macOS.
You can also choose whether to enable “Precise Location.” This will let apps see exactly where you are, while they only get your approximate location if Precise Location is turned off.
Finally, to set permissions on a per-website basis, open Safari and go to the website you want to manage settings for. Tap the website options icon (it looks like “aA” next to a puzzle piece) and select the “Website Settings” option.
At the bottom of this menu, under the “Location” option, choose from the Ask, Deny, or Allow settings.
Keeping a close eye on who you share your location data with can go a long way toward increasing your personal privacy, but that’s not all you can do. If you want to make sure you’re being safe with your information, take a look at our guide to other privacy features you should be using on your iPhone.
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