Location services certainly represent a very useful asset for mobile device users. Internet giant Google takes advantage of them and offers advertising alternatives according to the most popular goods or products consumed or acquired in the area, and Google Maps is a highly efficient tool for those who want to move around town and visit several places. However, there is a fine line between useful and undesirable. Eventually, the situation may come to a point in which it would be better to avoid location tracking altogether in your device.
No person wants to feel someone has violated their privacy in any way. If they are not disabled; apps, services, system features and even business firms can be able to know every place you have visited or even where you are at the moment. Fortunately, it is possible to limit or even completely avoid location tracking in most services. In this guide, we will show you how to do it in:
For those of you who are not aware yet: if you let it, Google can know all about you. It is usually a strong, positive feature of this global Internet powerhouse; but you need to stay alert because sometimes you would not want certain pages or services to handle valuable information and share it without your consent.
Google Maps, if enabled, can follow every step you make, so it is important to know that it acts like the feeder to all other features related to Google when it comes to location tracking and places you have gone to.
However, in order to avoid location tracking, you can deactivate this service and even erase navigation history through the Google settings page. Pausing the “Places you have been” options is the next step, and “Manage history” lets you handle every bit of information.
Stopping all location services in devices with iOS would prevent you from getting maximum usability and enjoying some of the apps’ best assets, so the best thing to do is to manually configure the tracking settings to dismiss unwelcome ‘espionage’.
The option for completely eliminating location services in iOS exists. The battery will last for a few more hours, but certain apps will be of no use, such as Google and Apple Maps, Find my iPhone, Foursquare and many more. To achieve this, you need to go to the “Settings”, then touch “Privacy”, “Location services” and switch it off.
Of course, the iOS user can also avoid location tracking in specific services and apps. The initial process is the same as if you were to disable the service altogether: “Settings”, “Privacy”, “Location services”. The phone will provide the option to set which apps are going to have location services active and when: “Never”, “While using”, and “Always”. The second option is recommended.
Location access for system services can also be turned off. The same formula is needed (“Settings”, “Privacy”, “Location services”), and then tap “System services” and individually disable the services you prefer, like “Wi-Fi calling”, “Frequent locations”, “Motion calibration & distance”, “HomeKit”, “Compass calibration”, and more system features that you rarely use.
Android phones can also be victims of the “too much information available” conundrum. However, it is important to note that, as is the case in some other devices, letting the operative system know your location is not necessarily a bad thing.
The system, if activated, serves as a data feeder to the service, which will subsequently use it to your benefit in most cases, like storing user information and search patterns and present them when needed.
But some people feel the need to avoid location tracking in order to feel safer and protect their privacy and that of their respective circles. To do that in Android devices, tap the “Settings” option, then “Location” and; after that, “Google location services”.
Turn off “Location reporting” and then, on the previous page, do the same with “Location history”. There is also a button to “Delete location history” available as one of the options.
These devices give you the option to switch location services off completely. This can be done by going to the “Settings” page, tapping on “Location” and then in “Off”. A more detailed and specific way is to enter the “Settings” and the “Applications” page immediately after, where you can manually set privacy and location preferences individually in apps that allow it.
It is also recommendable to turn off the “Send Information about Wi-Fi Connections” feature, available by tapping the “Wi-Fi” option and then “Advanced”.
Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer can also be victims of leaked data and information. Users have the option to limit or avoid location tracking in most cases.
- For the most basic one, which is Internet Explorer, you need to go to “Tools” and then “Internet Options”. From there, the next would click on the “Never allow websites to request your physical location”.
- It is even simpler in Safari. In the “Preferences” layout, click on “Privacy” and then select “Deny without prompting” in the option “Limit website access to location services”, and also click on “Ask websites not to track me” and “Prevent search engine from providing suggestions” on the “Website tracking” and “Smart Search field” options, respectively.
- For Opera, access the “Settings” page, then “Websites” and finally “Location”. There, you can configure the browser to “Do not allow any site to track my physical location”.
- In Mozilla Firefox, the process may be a little more confusing as it is not similar to other browsers. The user has to type about:config in the address bar above and, after agreeing to be careful as Mozilla kindly asks you to, you proceed to search “geo.enabled” and configure it to “false”.
- And last but not least, Google Chrome lets you access the menu and, subsequently, the “Settings” page. There, you have to click on “Show advanced settings” and, when “Content settings” appear, go to “Location” section and press “Do not allow any site to track your physical location”. Don’t go away without clicking on the “Done” button!
VPN as a method to avoid location tracking
The internet is a universe full of possibilities for students, professionals, teachers, kids, and adults; but it is by no means a perfectly safe place. If you are not protected or aware of certain things, you will become vulnerable to hacker attacks and people and institutions having accurate details about your location and personal data.
VPN, or Virtual Private Network, can be very effective as a privacy tool. It allows a private network to share data and information through public networks as if their phones or computers were connected to the former in a direct way.
As a result, it functions with the best services of the public network but with the added bonuses of a private connection: security and privacy.
TorGuard is strongly recommended as one of the best VPN services in the market. It has many options and encryption protocols, it is present in more than 50 nations, it has a strong customer service and its prices are very pocket – friendly. The speed of connection is also fast and steady.
It provides an excellent, anonymous VPN service that helps the user combat security issues created by hackers, net censorship, identity theft, and ISP’s monitoring activities for prices that go from just 4.99$ per month. It also works with any web browser, facilitating and promoting usability.
Some other good VPNs to use for GPS protection:
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|Dedicated IP Support Works W/ Netflix|
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|Stealth VPN / Advanced Obfuscation techniques|
|Visit VPN Provider||Visit TorGuard||Visit IPvanish||Visit PIA|
Internet security and privacy are very important matters, and they need to be taken into account to fully enjoy the wide array of benefits that the web offers daily. For every threat out there, there are ways to be protected and prepared. You should not miss out on them.