Websites, browsers and smart devices are all becoming more advanced. But even with all the conveniences that technological advances bring, they also limit our privacy more with each passing day. Right now, your Android device probably knows more about you than any living person ever will. Location tracking is one of the practices used by apps, websites and platforms that invade our privacy, but is it even possible to stop them?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how apps and websites use location tracking and its impact on privacy. We’ll also look at a few ways to prevent your location from being tracked, such as using a location-specific Russian proxy or similar. You can learn more about these types of proxies on the Smartproxy blog.
We’ll cover the following location tracking topics:
Location tracking and GPS are very useful in the modern-day world. They help us navigate to new places by using navigation apps. We can share our location with friends and family to make meet-ups easier. They enable us to easily book taxis, rideshares and transfer services by using apps like Uber, Lyft, Curb and more. However, despite their many beneficial uses, they also threaten your privacy.
By tracking GPS and other sensors in your mobile device, apps and websites can collect a lot of your information and preferences. By monitoring these systems, they know what shops you visit, what Doctor or pharmacy you frequent, and what restaurants you eat at, and they can even tell where you spend the night. This is the scary dark side of technology that we have to be aware of in order to protect ourselves.
Many apps are dependent on location data in order to function. Think of apps like Google Maps, Find My Device and other similar apps. If they didn’t have access to your GPS and location, they would not be able to provide their service.
Apps can use GPS, cellular tower signals and beacons to track users’ smart devices and, thus, their locations. We often provide permission to these apps to access our location to use the functions, but we rarely realize just what that means. Sometimes, we give apps permission to access data they don’t always need. For example, why would your document editing app need access to your location? Or why would that new mobile game need access to your camera?
Unfortunately, many apps use location tracking and other sensors to collect your data. Once they’ve collected your data, they can use it for targeted advertising, or in some cases, they can even sell it. Why do you think you receive so many spam calls? Someone got a hold of your contact data, and they’re using it to push products on you.
Luckily, there are a few ways that you can take back your privacy and start protecting yourself. Usually, this requires multiple measures, as simply turning off location tracking doesn’t always work. Here are a few ways to protect your online anonymity.
Proxies help you evade tracking by changing your IP address and encrypting your connection to the internet. Some specialized proxies, like Android proxies, have been specifically developed to protect mobile devices. Alternatively, you can look at location-specific proxies, like a Russian proxy, to make it appear that you’re accessing the internet from within Russia, even if you’re in another country.
VPNs encrypt your connection and add another layer of security to your browsing. They don’t share your personal details with websites, ensuring better online privacy.
Switch Off GPS When Not In Use
If you’re really concerned about location tracking, you should consider switching off your GPS whenever you don’t need to use it. If you need it for a navigation app or similar, they’ll usually ask you to switch it on, but the rest of the time, you can disable it to protect your privacy.
Review App Permissions
Many apps ask for permissions that they don’t require to function. Often we grant these permissions without giving them another thought but could inadvertently be allowing apps to track our location. Review your app permissions from time to time and revoke permissions that aren’t required for the app to work. Limit the required permissions to only run while the app is in use.
Location tracking in apps can be very useful, but when you think about all the personal information these apps collect, it can be terrifying. To protect your privacy while still enjoying the convenience of these apps, you need to be aware of what data they collect and how they use it. You can also use other measures such as Android proxies, VPNs and others to protect your privacy even more.