What is Apple Safety Check and how do I perform an emergency reset?
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(Pocket-lint) – At the WWDC conference in June 2022, Apple announced a new privacy feature, called Safety Check, intended to help you quickly turn off others’ access to your location and information. The company touted it as a security tool for users trying to escape abusive relationships. Here’s what you need to know about Safety Check.
What is Apple’s Safety Check?
In recent years, Apple has provided iOS, the iPhone operating system, with several privacy protection features. The latest is a new tool, Safety Check, which will be available with the iOS 16 software update. Safety Check will help you easily and quickly turn off location sharing and other things in an emergency situation. Many people share passwords and access to their devices with their partners. But in abusive relationships, as Apple noted at WWDC 2022, it can threaten your safety and make it harder to get help.
Apple has worked with US organizations that support victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence, such as the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and WESNET (The Women’s Services Network). The result of these conversations is Safety Check, a new section of the Settings app where you can quickly review and reset the access you’ve granted to others. “This allows abusers to quickly revoke abusers’ access to their data and location,” Apple said.
Main features of Safety Check:
- Stop sharing location with other people via Find My app.
- Reset system privacy permission for all apps
- Signs you out of iCloud on all your other devices.
How does Apple’s Safety Check service work?
You can access Safety Check in the Settings app. When you open Safety Check, you see two options:
- Emergency reset: Immediately reset access for all people and apps, and review your account security.
- Manage sharing and access: Customize who and which apps can access your information, and verify your account security.
Select the first option, Emergency Reset, if you find yourself in an emergency situation and want to quickly revoke others’ access to your information, including your location. The second option, Manage Sharing and Access, lets you check who you’ve given access to and control the permissions given to certain apps.
What happens if you press Emergency Reset?
If you select Emergency Reset in Security Control, Apple won’t notify people you’ve stopped sharing with, but they may notice that sharing has stopped. Apple will notify you that you will stop sharing with everyone and revoke sharing access from all apps. It will also change your Apple ID password and prompt you to review your account security.
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Can Safety Check prevent others from seeing your messages?
Yes. Safety Check protects access to your messages by helping you sign out of iCloud on all your other devices, and it limits messages and FaceTime to the device you’re holding.
When will Safety Check be available?
Safety Check is a new feature in iOS 16, a free software update coming to iPhone this fall. The public beta of iOS 16 will arrive this summer for everyone to test it out.
Written by Maggie Tillman.