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What does privacy warning mean on WiFi?

Apple is well known for baking in good privacy measures in its operating systems and iOS is no exception to this rule. Outside of protecting you from in-app trackers and any other third parties that are looking to snoop data off your phone, iOS also looks out for you when you’re connected to WiFi. 

In this article, we’re talking about the privacy warnings — this network is blocking encrypted DNS traffic — that might show up when you’re connected to several WiFi networks, what they mean, and what you do to get rid of them. 

Also read: How to enable WiFi Calling on Android and iOS? Compatible devices

iOS WiFi privacy warnings explained

Starting with iOS 14, users started low security or privacy warnings when connected to WiFi networks. This is iOS telling you that your iPhone’s MAC (Media Access Control) address is publicly visible to the router or WiFi hotspot you’re currently connected to, allowing trackers to get your device information. 

Since MAC addresses are unique to each device, if you’re using your real MAC address to connect to a WiFi network, the network operator or other devices on the network can track you and capture device information that can be later used to profile you for advertising or other malicious purposes. 

Apple introduced a Private Address feature in iOS 14 to avoid this situation. Enabling the feature essentially broadcasts a different MAC address to each WiFi network you connect to, reducing your footprint and hence, the chances of you being tracked. 

How to remove WiFi privacy warnings?

If you want to get rid of the warning message, you just need to enable the Private Address feature in your WiFi settings. Here’s how. 

  • Open settings and tap WiFi.
  • Locate your active WiFi network and tap the button. 
  • Scroll down and enable the Private Address slider. 

Now reconnect to the network and the privacy warning will go away. 

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