6 tips to help you prevent your smartphone from tracking your location


Smartphones have become one of the most important electronic devices we carry, and we use them all the time. As a result, your smartphone has become a source of knowledge of everything about you, from tracking your geographical location accurately, dates, times, what you did before and after opening the application or website, and the companies that provide your favourite services.

There are some unavoidable tracking situations: carriers constantly track your location because every few seconds, your phone searches for the strongest signal from nearby cell towers, and they also track you to make sure you can be found in an emergency.

Reports in the recent period have shown how easy it is to identify people and determine their geographical location through anonymous data collected by applications in smartphones, and although the information provided by applications does not always identify the user, tracking the geographical location is often very accurate so that it can be used to determine the behaviour and habits of a person since it shows the places he goes to during the day. Accordingly, many of these applications use this data to their advantage. You sell it to advertisers and other companies needing it.

Hence, the frequently asked question of smartphone users arises: What can be done to prevent phones and applications from being intruded?

Here are 6 tips to help you prevent your smartphone and apps from tracking your location:

1- Check the privacy and location settings for apps:

The first step to protecting your privacy on your smartphone is to check the privacy settings and geolocation of each app installed on your phone.

Delete all the apps you no longer use, as many of us often do not need half of the applications installed on the phone, and getting rid of these applications will make the phone run faster. Also, be sure to disable your location access services in apps and services that don’t work on knowing where you are.

2- Improve location settings in applications:

Some apps need to collect your location data to work. Still, you can modify their settings to better protect your privacy.

First, iOS users can follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Tap the Privacy section.
  • Tap the Location Services option to see a list of apps and the location settings for each.
  • Within each application, you will find three options through which you can specify the level of access to your location data: the first Always gives the application access to location data all the time, even when not using it; the second, while using the application while using the app, and the last option: Never, which prevents the application from tracking your location.

Secondly, for Android users, they can follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Click on the Security & Location tab.
  • Under the Privacy section, please scroll down to the Location option and tap it.
  • Tap the App-level permissions option to see a list of apps. Press the toggle next to it to turn off the location of the app you want.

Android users do not have access options for applications to the site as in the iOS system. Still, Google announced that these options will be available in the next version of the system, which bears the name Android Q. Still, now you can determine the degree of tracking accuracy from the phone:

  • High Accuracy mode uses GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or a network to determine your location.
  • Battery saver mode only uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or network to determine location.
  • Device Only mode uses GPS and device sensors to determine location.
  1. Turn off the location log setting:

Apple and Android devices maintain Frequent Locations, which include all the places you visit and the duration of your stay. To protect your privacy, clear this history from the settings.

4- Use VPNs:

VPNs encrypt your online activity and allow you to route site traffic to different servers to hide your whereabouts.

The company must be well-known and reliable when looking for a VPN provider, as app stores have many free VPN apps but do questionable practices.


5- Unsubscribe from targeted advertising:

Targeted advertising is a way for advertisers to target potential customers based on several factors, including gender, age, education level, income level, and economic status. Different types of targeted ads target searches, social networks, and geographic locations.

Suppose you’re among the millions of people bothered by this practice. In that case, you can opt out of targeted ads, remove some unwanted ads, and stop showing ads based on your interests and information.

6- Turn off all location services on your phone:

As a last resort, you may consider disabling location services on your phone, but this is an impractical solution; without location services, you will not be able to use maps to reach places you do not know, you will not be able to use ride-hailing applications such as Careem and Uber, and you will not be able to locate your phone if it is lost or stolen.

Bottom line: Using a smartphone means giving up access to complete privacy. However, taking some precautionary steps can secure your data and protect your privacy from those with whom you don’t want to share your information.

Tech enthusiast and founder of WootWP. With a passion for WordPress and a knack for teaching, Shan is dedicated to sharing knowledge and empowering others in the digital world.