Would you like to learn how to prevent your phone from being tracked? If you answered yes to that question you should know that there are some simple steps you can follow to prevent someone from tracking your phone.
We’re all familiar with the capabilities of a modern-day cell phone. However, one of the major drawbacks of having a cell phone is the fact that it allows other people to track you.
How To Stop Your Phone From Being Tracked:
We’re all entitled to our privacy but location technology on cell phones is a double-edged sword because it can be extremely useful when giving you directions on how to get to a specific location.
Or if you’re lost in the event of an emergency and you call 911 the first responders will be able to track you down and find you via the location technology if it’s turned on.
However, it provides an easy way for someone to illegally track you down. In this brief blog post, I will tell you exactly what you need to do to prevent someone from tracking your cell phone.
A GPS Tracking Locator:
This method of tracking uses the GPS radio on your phone to determine your exact location via a GPS tracking locator. To prevent someone from doing this you must disable the GPS radio on your phone.
The method of doing this may vary from one phone to another because some phones have Location as a stand-alone setting, while others have it within the menu.
Nevertheless, whether you have an Android phone or an iPhone, you have the ability to block GPS tracking.
The process of doing this will differ from one Android phone to another. Nevertheless, you can follow the steps below change the location settings on your phone.
How To Block GPS Tracking On An Android Phone:
- Open the App Drawer and go to Settings.
- Scroll down and tap Location.
- Scroll down and tap Google Location Settings.
- Tap Location Reporting and Location History, and turn the slider off for each one.
- Delete your phone’s location in the cache by tapping delete location history at the bottom of the display screen.
- Then you should repeat this process for every Google account that you have on your Android phone.
How To Block GPS Tracking On An iPhone:
- Open the Settings App.
- Scroll down to Privacy, select Location Services.
- Disable all the Location Services by swiping the slider at the top, or scroll down to disable location services for specific apps, including Google and Google Maps.
- Select System Services to deny location data from specific features, such as location-based advertisements, disable the “Popular Near Me” feature or turn off Frequent Locations.
In recent years the cell phone has transitioned from a luxury item to a necessity. There aren’t too many people who live in the U.S. today who do not own a cell phone.
If you own a cell phone you should know how to turn off GPS tracking to protect your privacy.
Here Are Some Other Things You Can Do:
Minimize Ad Tracking:
On Android and iPhone, there are built-in options that you can use to limit and minimize ad tracking.
Even though these tools will not completely prevent companies from tracking your activities on your phone, they will give you the ability to reset your advertising ID and to unlink all targeted advertising profiles that are affiliated with your phone.
Here Are Some Simple Steps You Can Follow To Limit Ad Tracking:
For Android phones, you can follow the steps below:
- Go to Settings
- Google Ads
- Toggle “Opt out of Ads Personalization” to on
You also have the ability to reset your phone’s advertising ID on this page, this procedure will vary depending on the make and model of your phone.
For iPhones or other iOS devices, you should follow the steps below:
- Go to Settings
- Toggle “Limit Ad Tracking” to on
In this section, you can reset your Advertising Identifier which will enable you to unlink all previous data that was associated with your ID.
Prevent Google From Tracking You:
Several Google services on Android phones and iPhone store your location data even if you have modified the privacy settings.
What can you do about this? Well, you can permanently turn off Google’s location tracking, you can follow the steps below to do this:
Turn Web And App Activity Off:
You must sign in to your Google account on your phone if you haven’t already signed in, then follow the steps below:
- Click on “Your personal info” which is located in the “Personal info & Privacy” section.
- Then on the left-hand pane, click on “Manage your Google Activity”
- Then select “Go To Activity Controls.”
After following the steps above you will be able to turn off the various types of data that are being saved into your Google account.
Stop Location Markers From Being Saved:
Pausing your Location History is great, however, it does not completely turn off the location markers on Google.
Even though doing this will stop Google from adding your whereabouts to your Timeline, your location data will still be saved to your Web and App Activity.
To stop your location markers from being saved, you must pause your Web and App Activity toggle as well.
Upon pausing this feature, none of your activity from your Google services will be saved to your account.
Pay Close Attention To Your Online Accounts:
When surfing the net you may feel as though some of the large companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google know the type of information that you’re looking for.
Every time you use a service or product from large companies such as the ones mentioned above, these companies use algorithms to keep track of the type of information that you’re consuming.
These companies keep track of what you clicked on, what you liked, and videos that you watched.
This data is collected and it’s used at a later time to advertise products or services to you in the form of ads that are based on your previous actions.
This is known as behavioral retargeting, luckily, these companies provide some useful tools you can use that will give you the ability to opt-out of ad tracking.
Both Microsoft and Google provide account dashboards that enable you to control the level of privacy for your account.
Google has revised its ad settings to make things easier for you to limit and understand ad tracking.
Facebook also provides options that you can use for turning off behavioral tracking which gives you more privacy on the internet.
Opt Out Of Behavioral Ads:
There are a number of companies that rely on algorithms to track your online behavior and send you personalized ads/behavioral ads.
Nevertheless, you have a way to opt out of most of these ads. There’s a consumer choice page that was implemented by the Digital Advertising Alliance.
On the consumer choice page, you have the ability to see which of its participating partners are using behavioral ads.
Upon visiting the page, a scan will be performed, after the scan has been completed you will see a list of the participating partners.
Then you can learn more about the customs that these companies use for ads, and you can opt-out via opt-out cookies which are stored in your browser’s cache with your preferences.
If you do this, it will not remove all the ads that you see online, however, the advertisers will no longer be able to show you targeted ads.
Browse The Internet In Private:
You can opt for a private browser on your phone, if you prefer to surf the web anonymously there are several web browsers that you can use to accomplish this, these web browsers include:
- Mozilla Firefox Focus
- Google Chrome
- Microsoft Edge
- Dolphin Browser
- Samsung Internet Browser
Mozilla Firefox Focus is a mobile web browser that gives you the ability to anonymously surf the web while blocking all analytics, social trackers, and advertising by default.
This web browser also deletes all your passwords as well as your browsing history after every session.
Both the Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers have InPrivate and incognito modes that you can use to remain anonymous on the internet.
You can also use the Dolphin web browser if you would prefer not to use a web browser that’s associated with the big companies that own the web browsers mentioned above.
The Dolphin web browser will allow you to browse the web anonymously, however, it also provides some nice features that will improve your mobile browsing experience.
If you have a Samsung phone, you can use the Samsung Internet browser. This is a great web browser that comes equipped with a built-in ad tracking blocker that will prevent websites from tracking your activity when surfing the net.
Google provides a great search engine that many people rely on. However, if you dislike the idea of Google recording your search terms when you use it, you can opt for DuckDuckGo which does not save any of your search terms or data.
Pay Close Attention To Your Virtual Assistants:
Due to technological advancements within the past few years, we have virtual assistants such as Google Assistant and Siri on our phones.
Gone are the days when phones were used primarily for texting and talking. The virtual assistants on your phone give you the ability to perform certain tasks via the use of your voice by commanding the phone to carry out the tasks.
However, you must be aware that when you command a virtual assistant to do something, it’s recorded and the audio file is uploaded and saved to Google or Apple’s servers for processing.
There’s a good chance that the data is stored anonymously and put through algorithms that look for behavioral patterns that can be used at a later time for targeted advertising.
What I find disturbing about virtual assistants is the fact that they listen to everything you say while you’re in close proximity to your phone.
Follow the simple steps above to stop someone from tracking your phone. If you have any comments or questions about any of this information.
Please feel free to share them in the comment section below.