No matter what device you use, accessing the internet subjects you to behavioral tracking. If this practice bothers you, all hope is not lost. Take action.
8 ways to stop your phone from tracking you
Known as "Frequent Locations," it keeps track of where you are and how long you stay there. It even knows where you live and work based on how long you're there and the number of times you go. If you find this unsettling, turn the feature off. Here are the basic steps but depending on your specific model and operating system, you may need to look around a bit.
Choose "Significant Locations" to see the logged record of where you've been; de-select this to turn it off. Tap "Location Reporting" and "Location History" and switch the slider to off.
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To delete your device's location cache, tap "Delete Location History" at the bottom of the screen under "Location History". Want to be shocked about this tracking? Click here to read more about the "Frequent Locations" feature. Ending location tracking may sound extreme, which is why you may prefer to combat the ads themselves.
These tools will not wholly stop companies from tracking your phone activities, and they won't limit the number of ads you see, but they will allow you to reset your advertising ID and unlink any targeted advertising profiles that are associated with your particular gadget. You can also reset your Advertising Identifier in this section to unlink any previous data associated with your ID. Pausing "Location History" doesn't completely turn off Google's location markers. Although it stops Google from adding your movements to your "Timeline," location data is still being saved on your "Web and App Activity.
Click here to see what your Google accounts Timeline is all about. This fun fact is important. To prevent location markers from being saved, you have to pause your "Web and App Activity" toggle too.
Recover your phone quickly and easily
When this feature is paused, activity from all of your Google services won't be saved on your account. Many computer users are familiar with private web browsers. Lesser well-known are the browsers that allow you to search the internet on a mobile device anonymously. One such app is Mozilla's free Firefox Focus app.
This anonymous mobile web browser blocks advertising, analytics and social trackers by default. It also erases passwords and browsing history after each session. If you don't want a mobile browser that's associated with the big data brokers, you can try the third-party app Dolphin browser. If you're on a Samsung smartphone, you can also use the company's Samsung Internet app. This browser has a built-in ad tracking blocker that will keep other sites from tracking your online activity. If you don't like the idea of Google recording all your search terms, alternative engines such as Yippy, DuckDuckGo and Ixquick don't track you as aggressively.
Click here for the pros and cons of each one, and see if they're a better fit for you. The moment you create an account with a major company e. Google, Microsoft or Facebook you begin feeding them data about your location, personality, and preferences. Thankfully, these companies and most advertising firms give you tools to opt out of personalized ad tracking.
Google and Microsoft , for example, have account dashboards for privacy controls and for checking what it knows about you. Google revamped its ad settings to make it easier for you to understand and limit ad tracking.
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Facebook likewise has options for turning off behavioral tracking to keep it from following you around the web. The company is also currently auditing its third-party apps , and they're now more accessible to view and control.
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- How to use Find My iPhone to find lost or stolen iPhone or iPad.
Your iPhone has two numbers that identify it. One is the serial number, which is issued by Apple as the manufacturer. The other is a specific reference number that is associated with individual cellphone handsets both iPhones and other makes and models. You can find the serial number on your phone by tapping "Settings," then "General" then "About.
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Apple itself does not use serial numbers for tracking. In some locations, police departments maintain a registry of serial numbers, though you'll usually have to actively add your serial number to the registry. Police departments that run a registry may use it to identify the owner when they find a lost phone or confiscate it from a thief.
In some cases, police departments may make the registry available to stores dealing in used property so they can check if any iPhones they receive are stolen. Note that if your service provider uses MEID numbers, which are 14 digits, you may need to drop the last digit listed on your device.
You cannot use your IMEI number to track your phone.
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However, if you report your phone as stolen to your cellphone service provider, the provider can use the IMEI number to block the phone from connecting to the service and racking up charges. The only method Apple provides for physically tracking an iPhone is through the free "Find my iPhone" app.