New iOS 18 Privacy and Security Features: What You Need to Know

Chris Thompson

By Chris Thompson


Apple has recently released a preview of iOS 18, unveiling a range of new privacy and security features aimed at enhancing the safety of iPhone users’ data. This update introduces several significant changes, which we’ll explore to understand their implications for user security and privacy.

Enhanced App Lock and Privacy Controls

In iOS 18, Apple has introduced comprehensive updates to app-specific security, ensuring that sensitive information remains protected.

  • Lock Specific Apps: Users can now lock individual apps behind Face ID. This additional layer of security helps prevent unauthorized access to apps containing personal data or sensitive information.
  • Hidden Apps: Additionally, apps can also be hidden from the Home Screen and stored within a designated hidden apps folder. This feature allows users to keep certain apps out of view unless they are specifically unlocked, enhancing privacy further.
  • Private Notifications: Notifications from locked apps will not display their contents unless the user has unlocked the app with Face ID. This helps protect sensitive information from being seen by others.

Fig 1. iOS 18 hide app option.

These features collectively give users greater control over their apps and the information they store, allowing for a more personalized and secure experience.

New Apple Passwords App

Apple’s new Passwords app is a significant addition to iOS 18, providing a centralized location for managing passwords across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Vision Pro. The app not only stores passwords but also includes advanced security features:

  • Compromised Password Alerts: The app flags passwords that may have been compromised, alerting users to change them promptly.
  • Support for Verification Codes and Passkeys: It handles two-factor authentication codes and supports modern security technologies like passkeys, enhancing overall account security.
  • Wi-Fi Password Management: Users can store and manage Wi-Fi passwords within the app, making it easier to share secure network access without revealing the actual password.

Fig 2. iOS 18 Passwords app.

These enhancements make it easier for users to maintain strong, unique passwords and safeguard their online accounts.

Private Cloud Compute and Secure Data Processing

One of the standout features in iOS 18 is Apple’s own artificial intelligence suite, Apple Intelligence. To go alongside this, the company has also announced a new framework designed to handle data securely called Private Cloud Compute.

  • Apple Intelligence Integration: The update integrates Apple’s AI suite with both on-device and server-based models, ensuring that data processing is handled efficiently and securely.
  • Secure Data Handling: By utilizing Private Cloud Compute, Apple ensures that data is processed in a way that prevents it from being stored or accessible to Apple, enhancing user privacy.

This approach demonstrates Apple’s commitment to providing robust data protection by minimizing the risks associated with cloud-based data processing.

Improved Contacts Permissions

iOS 18 also brings refined controls for managing access to contacts, providing users with more granular control over their data:

  • Selective Sharing: Users can now choose specific contacts to share with an app instead of granting full access to their entire contact list. This feature helps to limit the amount of personal information shared with third-party apps and reduces potential privacy risks.

Fig 3. iOS 18 contact permissions settings.

This change reflects a growing emphasis on user autonomy and data minimization, aligning with best practices in data privacy.


The privacy and security updates in iOS 18 reflect Apple’s ongoing effort to enhance the protection of user data and provide greater control over personal information. These features offer significant improvements for iPhone users, enabling more secure and private interactions with their devices. As always, it’s crucial for users to stay informed about these changes and understand how they impact their security and privacy practices.