Your Smartphone is Tracking You: Check out how you can prevent it

The smartphones we have and use every day are small computers which are far beyond just “phones”. Do you know that the smartphones you carry are not only helping you with useful information? While they are on and running, they are also collecting a lot of information. So, if you have a smartphone, you have already given out a lot of personal information.

With their growing processing power and storage capacity, smartphones have turn into a human "electronic tag" that goes around with us. The specific location, time, date, duration and what you did before and after opening an application or website are stalked by the companies that provide your preferred services.

Some of these cannot be evaded. Through design, wireless service providers constantly know your location, since your device checks every few seconds to detect strongest signal from close cell towers. They are also tracking you to make sure you can be found in an emergency. However, thousands of these applications are keeping tabs on your movement, often for advertising purposes.

In all this, what can you do to maintain your privacy? The following are what you can do to take back some control.

Audit the privacy and location services of your apps: Take a look at the privacy settings of the applications running on your smartphone. Take away apps that you no longer use. Deactivate location services for applications and services that you don’t want to know where you are.

Switch off location history settings: Android and Apple devices keep a list of "frequent locations" you're visiting and how long you've been. If it makes you vulnerable, clears the history in the setting.

Make use of a VPN: a virtual private network encodes your online activity and lets you route your traffic to diverse servers to cover your location.

Choose not to receive targeted ads: advertisers are anxious to get information about where you are going physically and how long you stay there. When possible, opt out of targeted ads.

Deactivate all your device’s location services: As a last option, you may consider deactivating location services on your smartphone. However, be careful: this is a risky solution. Without location services, you cannot use the map service or find your device if it is stolen or lost.

The conclusion is that Smartphones are becoming smarter and stronger every day, and also apps that are installed on your device.  Therefore, using these devices means losing some privacy. If you are concerned about your privacy, know that taking some precautionary measures can check your exposure.

It is always important to know what applications you have installed on your device and what type of data your device shares each time you open your smartphone. Knowing what your phone does and what applications you actually need and with what permission would give you better control over your privacy.

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