Companies are following your every move, literally. Our smart phones act as a tracking device for companies which allows them to target ads towards us, and they are hoping that ultimately we might buy something from them. But you have to give these companies permission to track your web browsing and location, right? You already have. That “I Agree” button that we all click without reading so that we can get to the content that we were looking for is one way that we have allowed companies to follow us. What can you do to stop companies from tracking you on your phone?
- Limit ad tracking
Begin taking your control back from these companies by limiting what ads the companies can target towards you. Our phones have the settings that will allow you to opt out of ads. If you’re an iPhone user, this setting is pretty easy to change. Go to Settings >> Privacy >> Advertising >> Toggle “Limit Ad Tracking” to On.
- Use a private browser on every device
On our devices, the simplest way to access the internet is through a basic browser, but did you know that when you do not use a private browser, companies are able to collect information on you and there are tracking cookies on your device. If you use a private browser, like Google Chrome’s Incognito browser, all of the information is erased, like passwords and history.
- Lock down your phone’s location settings
If you’re an iPhone user, you’ve probably noticed that your phone knows you’re supposed to head to the gym, even though it’s not on your calendar, and it knows that on Friday nights you usually head to that ever-popular ice cream shop? Well it’s because of the location settings you have on your phone called “Frequent Locations”. This setting keeps track of where you are and for how long. Eerie, right? You can turn this off by going into your “Privacy Settings” then to “Location Services”, scroll to “System Services” and turn off “Significant Locations”.
- Opt for no ads
The last thing you should do to protect yourself, your data, and your wallet from the targeted cat sock ads is to opt out of ads altogether. There is a website that allows you to see which companies are using customized adds on your devices. This website is called Digital Advertising Alliance, and their webpage that will scan your web browser to reveal which companies have targeted your device is here. Once you see which companies are targeting you, you can opt out of a select few or all of them.
Why is it important to stop the companies from tracking you? These companies are collecting data about you, your locations, and your habits. What if that data fell into the wrong hands through a data breach of their firm?
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