Protect Your Email Privacy by Turning on This iPhone and Mac Setting

Learn about how Apple Mail Privacy Protection for iOS 15 and MacOS Monterey can help you.

Rae Hodge Former senior editor
Rae Hodge was a senior editor at CNET. She led CNET's coverage of privacy and cybersecurity tools from July 2019 to January 2023. As a data-driven investigative journalist on the software and services team, she reviewed VPNs, password managers, antivirus software, anti-surveillance methods and ethics in tech. Prior to joining CNET in 2019, Rae spent nearly a decade covering politics and protests for the AP, NPR, the BBC and other local and international outlets.
Rae Hodge
2 min read
Apple logo designed to look like a padlock

Thanks to a macOS Monterey 12.5.1 security update earlier this week, Apple's Mail Privacy Protection feature has some new enhancements aimed at safeguarding your email. Originally released in September 2021, Apple's email protection option is also available to iPhone users with iOS 15. And now you can check out its new anti-tracking controls and eavesdropping alerts.

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"Mail Privacy Protection helps protect your privacy by preventing email senders from learning information about your Mail activity. When you turn it on, it hides your IP address so senders can't link it to your other online activity or determine your location. It also prevents senders from seeing if you've opened the email they sent you," Apple says in its iPhone User Guide.

Now, Mail Privacy Protection will also alert you when any apps are attempting to access your microphone with the appearance of a new recording indicator in the Control Center. 

Here's how to enable and turn on Apple Mail Privacy Protection on your iPhone or Mac. 

Read more: How to Get Less Spam With Apple's Hide My Email Feature

Enable Apple Mail Protection on iPhone iOS 15

1. Open Settings

2. Scroll down and tap Mail.

3. Select Privacy Protection

4. Toggle-on the Protect Mail Activity switch by sliding it to the right. 

Read moreChange These Browser Settings ASAP for More Privacy

Enable Apple Mail Privacy Protection for MacOS Monterey

1. On your Mac, open the Mail app. 

2. Select Mail, and then select Preferences.

3. Click Privacy.

4. Select Protect Mail Activity.

In its user guide for MacOS, Apple notes that if you deselect the Protect Mail Activity option, you can still choose to separately hide your IP address and block all remote content. 

"When Block All Remote Content is selected, a banner is shown in a message when you view it, indicating it contains remote content; you can choose then to download the content," Apple adds. 

Read more: iOS 15.5 Has a Bunch of Privacy Features Not Enough People Know About