Did you know, Google can trace and store your location even if you turn off your ‘Location History’. Once you connect to the internet through any device an IP address automatically gets flagged.
Even in the case of smartphones, the device stays connected with cell towers. So the service providers are aware of the user’s location at all times. However, there are ways in which you can de-activate such features in Google.
Follow these steps to prevent anyone from tracking your device.
For Android users
- Select the option ‘security and location’ from phone settings.
- Choose ‘privacy’ and then turn off the location setting by choosing ‘location’
- You can also block access to your apps by manually switching off the ‘app-level permissions’.
- You cannot turn off the Google Play services in an Android Device. However, one can sign in as a guest-user by simply swiping down, clicking the downward-facing mark and then selecting the torso icon.
- Please note, one should be careful when signing-in to services, like we do in Google Chrome. Certain services or apps can map the user’s location when in use. (Users can change search engines in Google chrome.)
For IOS users
- On your iPhone, Go to settings, select ‘privacy’ and then click ‘location services’.
- You can select Google Maps from there to change your location setting to ‘While Using’. This will prevent the device from tracing/saving your location while the device is not in use.
- Users should also consider using search engines other than Google while using the Safari Browser. Select settings, click on the ‘safari browser’ option and then select ‘search engine’ to choose an alternative.
- Users can turn off location to ‘never’ by simply going to phone settings, selecting the privacy option and then clicking on location services. You can switch to ‘never’ by tapping on the Safari Websites option.
(Certain advertisers will still be able to access your location. Both google maps and apple maps continue working in the background. The device can also access your location when there’s a need to, even if your phone is prevented to access your location when not in use.)
For any other regular device
- Initiate your browser and search myactivity.google.com.
- It’s important to sign into Google because you will need to tamper with Google settings.
- Choose the ‘Activity Controls’ from the drop-down menu at the upper-left corner of the screen.
- Then turn-off both ‘Location History’ as well as ‘Web and App Activity’. This will prevent Google’s markers from saving your location and storing it in your Google account.
- Google will however warn you about the fact that certain apps or features cannot work if such settings are turned off. But frankly speaking, features like the Google Assistant, voice recognition features or even the Google Home Smart Speakers aren’t particularly useful for every purpose.