You can reduce your cell phone tracking of your activities. While they’re often used for security reasons — like recovering stolen smartphones, for example — these location features and other types of tracking can also pose certain risks. This is the case when websites and apps store the data obtained to learn about the user’s browsing for advertising purposes, for example, which can compromise privacy for the time that this information is available to companies. So, to ensure the protection of your data, see how to stop your cell phone tracking you.
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See settings that can be changed on the phone to prevent tracking and have more privacy — Photo: Freepik
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Disable Google Location History
To prevent Google from having access to your browsing history, just turn it off. However, doing so also pauses web activities, location logging, and YouTube history. To do this, open the Google app and tap on your profile picture. Then press on “Manage Your Google Account” > “Data & Privacy” > “History Settings”. There, press “Web Activity” and “Apps” to pause. Then tap “Location History” and pause. Also, repeat the step in “YouTube History”.
It is worth noting that the procedure prevents Google from providing personalized recommendations based on your location, such as to give warnings about weather and traffic. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that when you disable the account’s location history, the setting is mirrored across all devices linked to the account. So, if you want, you can reactivate the feature by following the same path and making the change manually.
There are methods of pausing data collection by Google — Photo: Reproduction/Raisa Capela
Only use approximate location in apps
Most applications use the precise location of users, although it is not an essential resource for the application to function. However, it is possible to control which services can access the exact location of the smartphone. To maintain privacy, it is best to use only the approximate location, which comprises an area of up to three square kilometers.
To manage app permissions on Android phones, find and hold the service icon. then tap on “App Information” > “App Permissions” and tap the three dots located in the upper right corner. Once that’s done, go to “All Permissions” > “Local” and click on “Access approximate location in foreground only”. On iPhone (iOS), go to “Settings” > “Privacy” > “Location Services” > and disable the “Precise Location” switch.
Approximate location is sufficient for apps that do not need precise location — Photo: Reproduction/Raisa
Remove geolocation from photos (Android and iPhone)
Other smartphone functions may have access to the user’s location, such as the camera app. The feature can be very useful for people with the habit of traveling or who need images to be grouped by region, for example. But if this is not your case and you are concerned about privacy, it is possible to take the location of the photos.
On Android, open the camera and tap the three lines in the upper right corner. Then, hit “Settings”, scroll to the bottom and turn off “Save info. location.” On iPhone, go to “Settings” > “Privacy” > and select “Location Services”. Then go to “Camera” and check “Never” to disable geolocation.
Camera application also stores device location data — Photo: Reproduction/Raisa Capela
To have a safe browsing activity, the ideal thing is to have a VPN on your cell phone, a service that works as a third screen between your device and the internet. The system encrypts all traffic and minimizes the chances of being tracked, which can protect data, IP address and user identity.
However, it is important to note that not all VPN services protect devices from malware and malicious software. Therefore, it is necessary to do an in-depth research on which VPN networks can offer the best performance. Currently, there are free and paid versions available for Android and iPhone (iOS), which, in addition to encrypting all traffic, also guarantee additional benefits – such as unblocking restricted content, stopping ads and antivirus.
See too: Stolen or lost phone? Learn to log out of all accounts remotely
Stolen or lost phone? Learn to log out of all accounts remotely