We store a lot of personal information on our mobile phones. As a result, your smartphone knows everything about you. From our location and contacts to our favorite hangouts and hobbies, we happily exchange some of this information for free services from the likes of Google and others.
Everybody prefers freeware for their smartphone. But are these apps and services really free? These apps can use your personal data and give it other companies. The growth of digital marketing is one result of that.
Privacy issues in Android
Privacy on Android Decives has always been an issue. A recent report claims that Android devices have been collecting location of nearby cell towers using cell tower triangulation and sending them to Google, even if the location services are turned off on the user’s phone. Responding to the report, Google pointed out that this was a part of Google experiment to improve message delivery on Android devices and will put an end to it with an update later this month.
These days, it makes a lot of sense to look after the data stored on your smartphone and fortunately there are plenty of handy tools available within the Android ecosystem to help keep your data private.
In this BlogPost, we will talk about how to keep your data private on Android Phones. So Let’s get started.
Keep your Data Private on Android Phones:
#1 Keep your Location Details Private:
Google collects information about users’ location using IP address, GPS, WiFi access points or cell towers. It uses the location history to offer better recommendations from Google Assistant or traffic predictions in Maps. Users can restrict Google from collecting location data as well as their location history.
How to Disable your Location
Go to Settings -> Google -> Location -> Location history. You can either turn it off completely or partially for some maps.
#2 How to stop advertisers from tracking you:
Every Android Phone comes with a unique advertising ID. It allows Google to identify users’ preference and then shows advertisements based on areas that users are more interested in.
However, users can stop apps from using their advertising ID to target them with more personalized advertisements by opting out of the ads personalization in Settings->Google->Ads. Advertising ID includes some device-specific information such as model name, OS version, and even mobile number.
#3 Choose which Data You want to save:
Google came up with a My Activity page. Anything from Google search to YouTube history, voice commands, and device information is saved here. If users are concerned about all this data falling into wrong hands, they can delete an activity data or simply disable the MyActivity option in Google -> MyActivity -> Activity Controls.
#4 Clear your browser History Regularly:
Google uses data saved in cookies to keep a tab on users’ preferences and then uses it to provide more accurate suggestions for other apps. Cookies are files created and saved by websites based on users’ browsing history. Users can block cookies by resetting the browser Chrome -> Settings -> Privacy -> Clear Browsing history.
Congratulations! You’ve just taken a big step to increasing mobile privacy and protecting the data on your Android device. That should handle a lot of the data and vulnerabilities that come with having an Android phone. However, that’s only part of the equation. Next, you’ll need to take a look at the apps you use every day.