NEW YORK (WABC) -- Do you ever feel like your smartphone is watching you? Well, in a way, it is. But there are steps you can take to make your tech a little less creepy:
1.) Audit your apps' privacy location settings. Disable apps that don't need to use your location, and delete apps you no longer use.
2) Turn off "Location History Settings."
3) Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It works to protect your wireless data by replacing the IP address of your mobile device with its own U.S.-based IP address, according to ABC News.
4) Opt OUT of targeted ads.
If it creeps you out to get targeted ads from retailers you're walking by, you can restrict location based i-ads.
Open the setting apps, tap privacy, tap location services, scroll down and tap system services and toggle the location based i-ads to off.
To limit ad tracking while you're still in "Privacy" settings tap on "Advertising" and toggle the "Limit Ad Tracking" button to "ON"
You can also do this on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Using the Facebook site, log in and go to Settings > Ads > Ad Settings. On the app, go to Setting & Privacy > Settings > Ad > Ad Preferences > Ad Settings. Then choose the Not Allowed options under each category to stop Facebook from using data from partners and tracking your activity on Facebook and their partner sites to target you with ads.
5) Turn to "OFF" all of your devices' location services, but be aware that apps and services that perform using your geolocation will no longer be able to see where you are!
6) Clear your history if your device has been storing a log of your location.
On the iPhone, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Setting > Location Services > Clear History.
For Google and Android phones, go to Google Account > Location History > Date and Personalisation and Web and App Activity to tweak and customize your setting.
You can also delete your location history in your Google Maps Timeline by clicking on the bin icon.
Here's how to see the"Locations Visited" list:
Go to Settings>Privacy>Location Services (scroll all the way to the bottom)
Click on "System Services" (scroll all the way to the bottom)
See if "Significant Locations" is on
Click on that--this is privacy protected with a code, face id or thumbprint-and VOILA! A full list of location history.
To erase it all just click on "Clear History"
For users of Google maps and Android users. Go to your Google account in your settings.
And tap on "Data and Personalization"
Then click on "Location History" and turn it off.
Then toggle the tab "Web and App Activity" to turn that off too, or you can tweak these setting to customize what you want to use your location.
Once you've controlled your phone setting there are still more ways it tracks you through apps and through Facebook.
For Apps: Disable location services for app that don't need to know where you are, delete apps you don't use, and review all allowances for apps.
THE BIG TAKEAWAY
If you don't want to be tracked at all you can turn off all your devices' "Location Services" by toggling that setting to "Off."
Just remember apps like Yelp, Uber or Waze which need to see where you are won't work.
You can also use a VPN, a virtual private network. Its lets you access the web safely and privately by routing your connection through a server and hiding your online actions.is a service that lets you access the web safely and privately by routing your connection through a server and hiding your online actions.
Next, Google Maps also tracks you and keeps a record, to delete this or customize, go to Location History in your Google account.
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How to stop smartphones from tracking you | 7 On Your Side
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