Prevent cell phone tracking – how to protect yourself from tracking and location sharing of your smartphone!

Prevent cell phone tracking – the smartphone knows your location and shares it by agreeing to app settings!

Locate cell phone and prevent tracking via smartphones? Why is this important? Breakfast ready, off to work. When locking the front door, I quickly take a last look at the message center of my smartphone. I falter for a moment, am confused and read the entry again: "Currently, the travel time for the route to Sonnenscheinstrabe is about 23 minutes." . Whoops. Moment. How does my phone know where I am working? And how does my phone know I’m on my way to work?

The bad news. All this knows not only your smartphone – but also your provider, the manufacturer of your device, the provider of your operating system and possibly the provider of an app installed on your smartphone. You are located. You can not completely exclude the location and the disclosure of location data, but specifically limit – first, a look at the different ways in which cell phones could be made technically impossible to locate.

Prevent cell phone tracking via the provider?

As long as your smartphone is switched on and there is a working connection to the mobile network – whether via SMS or call – the mobile network provider can determine the position of your device up to 100 meters. The tracking is realized by means of an SMS that the provider sends to the active device. The SMS is not displayed to the recipient. This covert SMS, also called "Silent SMS", is used to determine the exact location of the device you are looking for. Providers are required to hand over location data to authorities when searching for missing people or prosecuting crimes.

Conclusion: You cannot forbid your provider to locate your cell phone. Only option: turn off smartphone. However, the last known location remains stored for a certain time by the provider for tracking purposes.

Prevent cell phone tracking via the operating systems from Apple, Google& Windows?

A device manufacturer can determine your position accurately up to five meters using GPS (Global Positioning System) and WLAN in combination with radio masts and WLAN hotspots. The location and data recorded in this way are primarily collected for device location or for navigation functions of the manufacturer. The good news: The different operating systems of the three manufacturers offer the possibility to turn off location services (see box below).

Conclusion: iOS, Android and Windows allow you to turn off the tracking. Disadvantage: In the event of smartphone theft or loss, the device cannot be located and thus recovered in this way. If you have also lost your way in the urban jungle or want to use certain apps such as Google Maps, you need to have your phone located again the location of the location again manually or. activate temporarily.

Prevent cell phone tracking on Android, iOS& Windows off

With older Android hardware, it was sufficient some time ago to simply turn off the WLAN to prevent the location. All users of newer Android operating systems, as well as iOS and Windows Phone users, are required to turn off WLAN signals as well as the GPS signal simultaneously to completely prevent tracking and location sharing.

Here’s how to do it on Google/Android:

  • Disable WLAN: Settings> WLAN> Advanced> Deactivate the functions "WLAN standby on", "Network notification" and "Always allow search".
  • Disable location: Settings> Location> Mode: "Location services disabled".

This is how it works with Apple/iOS:

  • Disable WLAN: Settings> WLAN> Disable WLAN
  • Disable location: Settings> General> Restrictions> Enable restrictions and assign 4-digit code> Privacy>Disable location services.

This is how it works with Windows Phone:

    Disable WLAN: Home> application list settings> Cellular + SIM> Disable data connections

  • Disable location: Home> Application list> Settings> Location> Location Services.

Prevent cell phone location via apps?

If a user installs a new app, he will be asked within the permissions for location sharing. Most users click "agree" relatively thoughtlessly. Many apps rely on location data to provide functions properly, for example navigation apps. However, most apps basically do not need the location and this data, but store the data of the users in stock.

Users of apps in Android operating systems have the hardest time: If a user has initially agreed to location sharing for an app in the Android operating system, he can’t use this "Go" option not to undo it afterwards. Via Settings> Location is at least apparent which services had recently made location requests.

Users of apps on Apple- and Windows Phone devices have it better. Apps can only access locations if a user has explicitly granted this permission via their own dialog – this permission to locate can be withdrawn at any time. For iOS, for example, via the path: Settings> Privacy> Tracking services.

Conclusion: Owners of Apple and Windows Phone devices have it in their own hands to withhold their location data from the apps and prevent cell phone tracking. If you use an Android-based device, you have to go to much more trouble to prevent location, spying and storage of motion profiles – for example by using alternative operating systems or anti-spying apps.

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