How to stop your smartphone apps from tracking you
WITH tech giants warning they may be unintentionally “monitoring” people’s online history and tracking their movements using location settings, some Americans may be looking to turn off such services.
Switching off location services, however, comes with its own issues – like disabling Maps, Uber, and weather apps, for example.
On many apps, though, most users would have probably said yes to location tracking when they were installed.
The solution to tracking across all apps is rather straightforward.
Anyone with an iPhone or iPad call follow the steps below to alter their tracking preferences:
- Tap Settings, head to Privacy, and then select Location Services.
- If the slider is on, apps can track you; if it’s off, your device will universally block Location Services.
An individual can look under the Location Services tab to see which apps have access to their location and how frequently they are using this.
By clicking on a specific app, a person can then choose how Location Services is used.
On each app, a person can choose: Never, Ask Next Time, While Using the App, or Always.
Apple’s App Tracking Transparency presents an app-tracking authorization request to the user and provides the tracking authorization status.
This can be altered by heading to Settings, tapping Privacy, selecting Tracking, and toggling the Allow Apps to Request to Track off.
Android users can check to see what apps have been granted to their location.
This can be done by swiping down at the top of the screen and selecting Location.
If this doesn’t show, a user can head to Settings and select Location.
There, they can tap App Permission, which will show a list of apps that can access your location any time, only while it’s in use, or when you give permission.
This is where app permissions can be changed.
Alternatively, users can find the app on their Home Screen and touch and hold.
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This will allow them to select the Info icon, then Permissions, and finally Location for that specific app.
From here, they can select All the time, Only while using the app, Ask every time, or Deny in relation to location-tracking services.
Similar techniques can be used for ad tracking, too.
iPhone and iPad users can head to Settings, hit Privacy, tap Apple Advertising, and then switch Personalized Ads to Off.
Americans were recently warned that Google may be unintentionally “monitoring” on their YouTube history and tracking their movements using location settings.
The tech giant reportedly builds up a profile of viewers’ interests based on the videos Americans watch using a special algorithm.
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