a blog from CenturyLink

How to fix a WiFi privacy warning

by | Aug 27, 2021


If you’ve connected your smartphone to the WiFi only to get a “Privacy Warning” message, you might be wondering what’s going on. Is your home WiFi network unsecure? Is it something to do with your phone? And how can you fix this situation?

When Apple released iOS 14, Apple users started seeing “privacy warning” and “weak security” under their WiFi connection. In this article, we’ll explain what both notifications mean and what you can do to fix them on your devices.

Learn how to fix a WiFi privacy warning.

“Privacy Warning” on WiFi

Apple is big on privacy, and a recent update limited the way networks track users by masking what is called a Media Access Control (MAC) address.

Think of it like an IP address for your smartphone. Before the update, WiFi networks, network operators, and network observers could track your activity using your MAC address. It essentially allowed networks to capture data about you, which could lead to user profiling.

To protect their users’ privacy, Apple released iOS 14. This update makes it so your Apple device generates a unique MAC address for each network you access, so you can no longer be tracked.

If you are getting a “privacy warning” on WiFi on your device, it means that your MAC address is not being masked and the network can see your device’s address and track it.

What you can do:

You can fix this notification by taking the following steps.

1. Go into the Settings on your Apple device and select “WiFi.”

Follow these steps to fix a WiFi privacy warning.

2. Locate your active network in the list and touch the “i” icon.

Choose the "i" icon to fix a privacy warning on WiFi.

3. Then touch the toggle to enable “Private Address.”

Choose to toggle on Privacy Address to get rid of a WiFi privacy warning.

4. Rejoin the network. The “privacy warning” message should be gone.

Rejoin your network. Your WiFi privacy warning should be gone.

To continue to protect your device’s address, enable the “Private Address” setting in the same way whenever you access public WiFi or other networks.

“Weak security” warnings on WiFi

If your Apple device says “Weak Security,” it means that your router has not been secured. This doesn’t refer to your provider’s (such as CenturyLink) network security, but your home WiFi network. All you need to do is log in to your router and change the security type in the settings to something stronger. Follow the steps here to fix a “Weak Security” message.

Last words

It’s not difficult to fix “Privacy Warning” notifications on WiFi. Still, even if this message only refers to your MAC address, it’s a good reminder to brush up on online privacy best practices. It could help keep your private information safe as you surf the web.

For more on cybersecurity, check out the following articles:

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<a href="https://discover.centurylink.com/author/kirstenqueen" target="_self">Kirsten Queen</a>

Kirsten Queen


Kirsten Queen is the Senior Content Marketing Manager for CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber. Since she started writing professionally, Kirsten has dabbled in nonprofit grant writing and communications, social media marketing, and now writes content about life with technology. In her free time, Kirsten likes to cook, garden, and hike in the mountains of Colorado. Her name rhymes with first, not cheer.