Sometimes, in the Settings on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll see a Privacy Warning beneath the name of a Wi-Fi network.

When you see this alert, a variety of concerns may spring to mind.

  • I wonder why that is happening?
  • What does it mean if my iPhone or network is acting strangely?
  • Is someone spying on my online activities?
  • Will others be able to join my network?
  • How can I resolve the problem and get rid of the message?

Similar to the Privacy Warning, you may have also seen the Weak Security message on your iOS device that we wrote about previously.

Why does ‘Privacy Warning’ appear?

This alert might appear if one of the following problems occur: If you select your network connection name and then press the info (i) icon, more information will be displayed.

Here are two of the common messages you may see:

  • Private Wi-Fi Address is disabled for this network.
  • This network is blocking encrypted DNS traffic.

Whatever message you see, you can usually fix it the same way.

This is a result of Apple’s privacy position.

Your iPhone or iPad uses a separate Media Access Control (MAC) address with each Wi-Fi network you connect to improve your privacy.

If you’re seeing this message, it indicates that your MAC address is not being masked, and the network you’re connected to can see it.

Your Wi-Fi network’s data might be intercepted by a third party, which implies that whatever you transmit over it may be monitored. The good news is that your iPhone or iPad is extremely secure, but the sites you visit can be tracked.

This is a significant problem if you’re using a public WiFi hotspot.

What Should You Do If You See ‘Privacy Warning’?”

Here are some things you can do when you see this message:

Enable Private Wi-Fi Address:

  1. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi.
  2. Tap the (i) info icon next to the network that shows the Privacy Warning message.
  3. Enable the Private Wi-Fi Address option.
  4. Turn off Wi-Fi by toggling the Wi-Fi switch in Settings > Wi-Fi, wait a few seconds, then turn it on again and reconnect to the network

If this message appears after you reconnect to your home Wi-Fi network, it is generally safe to ignore it. However, on your home network, make sure that your connection falls within Apple’s suggested settings for Wi-Fi routers.

Apple recommend that you use WPA3 on your router.

Weak security settings to avoid on your router

  • WPA/WPA2 mixed modes
  • WPA Personal
  • WEP, including WEP Open, WEP Shared, WEP Transitional Security Network, or Dynamic WEP (WEP with 802.1X)
  • TKIP, including any security setting with TKIP in the name

After you’ve completed the settings, turn off your network on your iPhone (or iPad), then reconnect.

To forget your Wi-Fi network:

  • Tap Settings > Wi-Fi.
  • Tap the info (i) icon next to the Wi-Fi network.
  • Tap Forget This Network.

If you’re using a public connection, such as a library’s Wi-Fi, or an airport’s free Wi-Fi, this alert is more worrisome.