Think a bit before allowing the app to track your location. You may happily share your location with navigation apps, but it’s ideal to use either android’s built-in settings or permission control app.
While it is a pleasure as well as a necessity to download and install apps on mobile phones, your Android phone might be giving away loads of information which might compromise your personal details. Details such as your contacts, location, photo gallery etc. are stealthy acquired by apps as the request cannot be denied. It is important to be aware of the apps that are tracking our moves.
So how do you safeguard yourself from these apps?
Look for Location settings in your phone’s General Settings. Tap to activate or deactivate. Once you deactivate this setting, none of the mobile apps are able to access your location including the navigation apps. If you don’t wish to disable your location for accessing maps, you can change to anyone of the following three options created by the app developers:
High accuracy mode will provide access to GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile network
Battery saving mode will give you Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile network but not GPS
Device with only GPS, no Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or mobile network.
Go to settings → General → Apps→ Configure apps or App settings→ App permissions. You will find certain features like microphone, camera, contact list, etc. Here, the apps that have access to your location are visible. Switch off location for mobile apps that are either not from trusted source or the one that don’t need to know your location.
You have an option to activate or deactivate your location for all mobile apps with a single switch in the settings. Go to Settings → More→ Permission and tap the switch for on/off next to Location.
You can click Location → Mode and select one among the three: high accuracy, power saving, or GPS-only modes. Under Location settings, check the apps list to find if there are options for disabling the location tracking.
There are various Google services that use your location such as Google Now. Below the list of apps, click on Google Location Reporting to see the list of accounts that is installed on your handset. You have the option to provide/deny access and even erase the data that is already available in the History section.
There isn’t much option available in the old android version to disable location. However, there is a free app called AppOps that can be downloaded for providing location access to individual apps.
Advancement in technology requires compromising privacy in exchange of convenience. The app that tells you about the closest movie theatre or restaurant by accessing your location can also be used inappropriately.
a. Access offline – Google Maps can be accessed offline. You just need to save the route online and access later.
b. Safety from apps that leak private data – Many mobile app development companies and spy agencies in the United States are allegedly involved in collecting personal information of their users through their unique mobile app developments. A mobile security company “Lookout” has given few suggestions to secure your data.
Avoid giving too much information – Don’t give out information about your actual name, location, etc. Keep a check on your mobile settings and deactivate the features that are not needed.
Install apps from app store – To be safe from malware and leakage, install apps only from the Google Play Store, the Apple’s App Center, the Amazon App store, and the Android PIT App Center.
Read reviews before installing app – Always check reviews before installing an app. Go through the app permissions. Mobile app developers can go to any extent to access to your information or else how could you explain Google Map wanting information about the frequency at which you mail or call your contacts.
A photo can give away enough information about you through the GPS system in your device. If you click a picture on a Moto X or Nexus 5, you need to start the camera and press the menu button followed by settings. Change the location tab from On to Off. You can activate the same later.
If you think at any time that your location is posing a threat to you or compromising your security then you know what to do. Be informed and make the right decision.
Stories by vaughn paul