Location Tracking and the Impact on Your Privacy

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Smartphones have become the primary device that any person has and generally carries around with them. As such, it’s also the primary device we use for apps, software, and communicating with other people. We place our trust in the device, but many people are unknowing of the risks inherent to smartphones. Any smartphone can and is easily tracked. It’s crucial that you protect your residential IPs by using tools like residential proxies. We consider why and how your location is being tracked and what you can do to stop it.

How is Your Location Being Tracked?

The primary way you’re being tracked is by the apps and software installed on your phone and desktop. Many different apps have set a precedent for tracking your location information and using it for marketing purposes. An example we’re all familiar with is visiting a city and suddenly being spammed with ads for that city.

 This is called “targeted advertising” and is the main reason apps and software track your location. You might wonder whether this is illegal, and the shocking answer is that it isn’t illegal because you permitted it to track you. Many of the terms and conditions you agree to when installing a new app have fine print on using location services and tracking. 

Privacy Concerns

It’s become an increasing privacy concern to have apps track your location. Not only does no one enjoy being spammed with ads, but it also means that somewhere on the web, there’s a record of your daily locations. That includes knowing where you live, work, your daily routine, your favorite grocery store, and the places you frequent. With the recent pandemic, many companies started tracking the health of their employees, which is understandable at the time but can also lead to a significant breach of privacy.

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There are also apps you overlook, like the built-in weather app that tracks your movements. This information is supposed to be anonymous statistics. Still, there have been cases of apps and phone companies selling users’ data to businesses that can use that to better target ads towards a specific person. There’s also no guarantee that companies can’t be hacked and this information leaked. It leaves room for someone with nefarious intentions to access your home location or daily routes.

Take Action Against Being Tracked

It’s essential to ensure your privacy since apps won’t ensure it for you. Reading the terms and conditions is a place to start, but it will only raise your awareness, not stop the app from tracking you. Below we looked at ways you can avoid being tracked through your Android phone.

Location Settings

Your phone has a setting you can adjust on whether it’s allowed to track your location. You can adjust which apps can access your locations or change it so that no apps can access your locations. However, if you switch off your location entirely, apps like the weather app and GPS won’t function properly. However, you can also change the settings to only track you when the app is being used. Below, we have a step-by-step guide on how you can adjust your phone’s location settings.

  1. Access the “Location” button in your “Settings.”
  2. Click on “Google Location Settings”
  3. Switch off the slider for “Location Reporting” and “Location History.”
  4. You can also click on the “Location” button to see which apps have permission to track your location.
  5. Tap on the app whose permission you want to adjust and select “Deny” or “Allow only while using the app.”
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Ad Tracking

You might consider a different approach if you simply want to stop the targeted ads. You can choose not to receive personalized ads by opting out of a setting on your phone. While it won’t reduce the ads you see, it will break any link between your device and a targeted campaign. To opt-out of targeted ads, follow the below steps.

  1. Under “Settings,” select the “Google” tab.
  2. Click on “Ads” to see two options.
  3. You can select “Reset advertising ID” to wipe clear your history
  4. You can also select “Delete advertising ID” so that apps can no longer use that ID to provide personalized ads.

Proxies

While both of the above options are a way for you to control your location tracking, it’s not foolproof. At the end of the day, location tracking is integrated with almost every app, and completely blocking it is difficult, if not impossible. A better way to ensure your safety would be to use residential proxies. A proxy server provides an intermediary gateway between the internet and your device. It conceals your IP address with its address so that any websites you visit or apps you use never come into contact with your IP address.

Residential proxies are unique in that they are connected to actual residential devices, so it still looks like an actual person’s IP address. Instead of providing an encrypted IP address or one multiple people use, residential proxies are connected to a unique real-world device. You can also find mobile and Android proxies that are perfect for your smartphone and to ensure your privacy is protected.

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Ensure Your Privacy

Your privacy is crucial to your safety. No one likes knowing someone can find out how you spend your day or where you live. Mobile and residential proxies provide the safest way to protect your IP address as you browse online. While the privacy concerns about location tracking on smartphones have become a big concern, it’s not at the point yet where the situation has been resolved. So take matters into your own hands and ensure no apps are stalking your movements.

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