• Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert

6 Steps to Stop Your Smartphone From Tracking Your Location

Updated: Feb 7, 2019




You may not know this, but you are being tracked on your smartphone. Maybe you do, but I don't think you understand the extent that it's happening. Everything you do is being analyzed. Yes, those apps you use, your text messages and even your phone calls are recording  your day-to-day habits. Why are we being tracked?  It's pretty simple. Large and small companies have come to realize that interest-based advertising is big business.  This form of advertising is so successful because it allows advertisers to get up and personal with you. From the information gathered from your smartphone about your daily habits and interests, advertisers can target ads that are of interest to you. What can you do to keep your habits out of the prying eyes of Big Brother?  Well, you can't completely stop the prying unless you completely get rid of your smartphone and other devices, but here are some tips to reduce the amount of snooping that occurs.

1. Turn off your location settings. On your Apple and Android devices, you have a feature that keeps track of where you've been and how long you stay at that location.  Pretty spooky right? Well, it's very simple to turn that off.  For Apple devices: Go to"Settings", then go to "Privacy" From there go to "Location Services", then go to "System Services". Select,"Significant Locations" to see a record of where you've been. To turn this off, de-select "Significant Locations"

For Android Devices, go to "Settings" find "Location" and click on it, then go to"Google Location Settings" and find "Location Reporting", then and "Location History". Once there, switch the slider from on to off for each one. 

2. Change the Permissions on Your Apps. When you install apps on your smart devices, you need to pay attention to what you're giving the app permission to do. In today's digital age, there are many apps that will request more information than they need to access. If you allow your apps to access too much information, it could be shared with companies who will use the information for advertising. 

3. Consider using private browser on your Smartphone.  tYou probably use private browsing on your desktop and laptop computer, but you need to use that on your smartphone too. If you want to keep your web searches private on your smartphone, you can make changes with your current browser.  Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Safari have have incognito and InPrivate modes that will keep your browsing private.  If you don't want to use a mobile browser that's associated with the large tech companies, you can try Dolphin browser which offers the same things that the other web browers offer. If you like your current phone web brower, but don't want Google recording your searches, try search engines such as  Yippy and DuckDuckGo.

4. Limit The Ads that Track You.  Android and iOS  provide options to cut down ad tracking. From your iPhone, Go to Settings, then go to Privacy, then, Advertising, Toggle, then switch,"Limit Ad Tracking" to On. 

From your Android smartphone, go to Settings, then Google, then Ads. Switch "Opt out of Ads Personalization" to On.

5. Don't Let Google Track Your Every Step .Did you know that Google can track you on your iPhones and Android even if you've changed your privacy settings?  How do you turn off these settings? On your smartphone, sign into your Google Account then click on "Your personal info" in the "Personal info & Privacy" section. Then, click on "Manage your Google Activity" then  "Go To Activity Controls." In this section, you can turn off the different types of data that is saved to your Google account.

6. Watch Out For Those Virtual Assistants.  theEverytime you use Siri and Google Assistant, your voice is uploaded and saved to Apple or Google's servers.  What we're told is it's done because they want to improve how those assistants work for you.  There's a good chance that your data is bring used analyze your behaviors and patterns for targeted advertising. You can use them, but understand the risks. 

What steps do you take to keep your smartphone data private?  Drop me a line and let me know.

If you have any questions about your technology and your devices, please feel free to contact us at Integral. Our friendly tech experts at Integral are always standing by to answer your questions and help make your technology useful and fun. Reach out to us a www.integralcomputerconsutants.com or phone at 888.256.0829. 


I'm  the Chief Technology Expert at Integral. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn , and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I want to make technology fun and exciting for you. I can be reached by email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com

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©2020 by Burton Kelso