On your mobile phone, have you ever wondered why you get ad pop-ups of things you earlier searched for on a website you earlier visited or Apps you previously used? It is no magic dear, your activities on the internet are simply being tracked/ monitored.
Like I will always tell friends, the major disadvantage of technology is its breach of privacy. It has become so bad that any application you install today will prompt you to grant it access to your privacy before it functions optimally. Website cookies on the other hand are busy collating and storing user personal information, which it uses to track and monitor your activities on the internet. Citing this indisputable fact, it is obvious that we are all being tracked and our activities on our mobile and over the internet are being monitored.
We can’t afford to be less cautious in this present age of technological advancement. Amongst other things, if there is one thing we must strive to protect, let that be our privacy and data on and off the internet. Information is power, and data is the power broker. It is therefore expedient that we learn how to stop these Apps and websites from monitoring and tracking our activities. The first step in achieving this is:
1. Turn off GPS Location
These days many applications will require you to turn on your GPS location before they can work optimally. My question remains, why would an Application like Xender ask me to turn on my GPS before I can share files? The annoying part is when I get a notification from Google asking me to drop a review of my previous location. You can disable GPS by,
i. Going to your device Settings.
ii. Scroll to the Location option and
iii. Toggle location-off.
2. In Chrome Browser
It is no news that you are been tracked on your chrome browser. The chrome browser is secretly monitoring your web activity history as much as websites via cookies are doing just the same. Follow these steps to disable tracking on your chrome browser.
1. Click on the User icon in your Chrome browser.
2. Select the Manage your Google Account option.
3. Click on manage-your-google-account.
4. Select Data and Privacy.
5. Under the History Settings section, click on Web and App Activity.
6. Click Data-and-privacy-web-and-app-activity
7. Click on the Turn off button.
8. You will see Web-and-app-activity-turn-off
9. Click on the Pause button to confirm your action.
3. In Mobile Apps
All mobile apps have a built-in tracking feature that gathers personal information and monitors your online behaviour for marketing purposes. On installation of most Apps, Whenever you get the prompt ‘Allow app to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites, Tap on the Ask App Not to Track option. Do you know, your mobile Apps can track and monitor your mobile phone and internet activities when you grant them permission to your camera, contact list, internet browser, gallery and so on? To disable tracking on mobile Apps with these easy steps:
i. Open Application settings.
ii. Tap on the App Permissions option.
iii. Click on the apps one after the other.
iv. Select stop tracking and click on Deny to confirm.
The new feature on Apple devices called App Transparency which works on iOS 14.5 and above prevents apps from tracking users, thereby protecting them from being the target for advertisements.
To set up this feature,
i. Go to your Settings.
ii. Select privacy.
iii. Click on the Tracking option.
iv. Toggle off allow-apps-to-request-to-track
v. You also disable app tracking on an App-by-App basis.
4. On Facebook
Before now, I wondered how Facebook got to know so much about me beyond my profile information. Ad pop-ups were so directed to me, that I knew I was being monitored in real-time. Doesn’t it surprise you how Facebook will remind you to post the new photo you have in your gallery? The truth is, Facebook App or website monitors your internet behaviour and activities and colleges this data for marketing campaigns and targeted advertising. This is to state that Facebook knows so much about you that you have given a thought to. To disable or stop Facebook from monitoring your activities, take these easy steps.
1. Launch your Facebook App or from your browser.
2. Click on Settings and Privacy > Settings.
3. Click on Your Facebook Information.
4. Click on the Off-Facebook Activity option.
5. Select manage manage-your-off-facebook-activity under the What you can Do section.
6. Enter your log-in credentials.
7. Select manage future activity on the More Options section.
8. Click on the Turn Off button to confirm.
It is indeed a tough job guarding one’s privacy online these days. Even as much as we strive to achieve this, some Apps like Facebook and Google can still track you based upon the agreement you agreed to while installing the app. On android phones, it is far much difficult because Google will always find its way to keep us monitored.