In an era when cellphones are everywhere, ABC explains how to protect your privacy and stop software from tracking your every move.
How To Keep Your Cellphone From Following You
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — We use our mobile phones everywhere. And whether you know it or not, you’re likely being followed. 7 On Your Side tells you how to keep people from knowing where you are and where you’ve been.
We’ve warned you about software that tracks where you go on the web. But now that those web browsers are in your pocket — it’s not just your internet habits that are being followed, it’s you.
Honeymooners Ross and Gabriela Haddow didn’t know that our smartphones, always with us, are always keeping track of every move we make.
“I don’t know how comfortable I feel with it,” Gabriela said.
Are you? There’s a digital log kept on Androids under “Google location setting” and on iPhones, too.
Cyber security expert Adam Levin showed the treasure map to where this digital diary is buried.
Here’s how you can find out if you are being tracked:
On your iPhone, click on “privacy,” then “location services,” scroll to “system services” and then hit “frequent locations” and there it is — a 2-month history of where you’ve been and even how long you spend there.
To clear it, hit “clear history.”
“You think it’s a phone? It’s also a diary, and we all know what happens when personal things in diaries get exposed,” Levin cautioned.
Using public Wi-Fi also makes it easier for companies to track your location and place pop ads onto your phone depending on where you are.
You can limit what advertisers can see on the privacy screen by clicking on “advertising” and turning on “limit ad tracking.”
“You don’t want your device, if stolen to basically leave a trail of breadcrumbs to places you don’t want anyone to go,” Levin said.
To disable these digital spies on the iPhone, go back to “location services.” You have to go to “share my location” and turn that off, too.
On the Android, it takes more steps. To start — tap the slider off for location reporting and location history.
Even then, on both devices, you may have to double-check what apps you allowed access to. Look who we discovered had access to one phone’s camera — Uber.
“It is just creeping more and more towards this sort of nanny state with your phone and all your technology, exactly what you are doing and where you are going and who’s getting this information. And who’s looking at it,” Gabriela said.