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Last Updated : Aug 13, 2018 07:23 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Google keeps track of a lot of your information even without permission. Here are some ways to reduce one's digital footprint

One must note that there is no complete relief, as the moment someone is on the internet, an IP address is generated whose physical location can be tracked

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A recent report by the Associated Press has confirmed the worst of our fears in the smartphone age — Google does keep a track of our whereabouts, even if we have switched off our “Location History”. One must note that there is no complete relief, since the moment someone is on the internet, an IP address is generated whose physical location can be tracked. (Image: Reuters)
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A recent report by the Associated Press has confirmed the worst of our fears in the smartphone age — Google does keep a track of our whereabouts, even if we have switched off our “Location History”. One must note that there is no complete relief, since the moment someone is on the internet, an IP address is generated whose physical location can be tracked. (Image: Reuters)

Smartphones in turn are also connected to the cell towers, which means one’s general location is tracked at all times. Nonetheless, there are still a few practices we can inculcate in our digital life to delete such markers and keep our location as private as possible. (Image: Reuters)
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Smartphones in turn are also connected to the cell towers, which means one’s general location is tracked at all times. Nonetheless, there are still a few practices we can inculcate in our digital life to delete such markers and keep our location as private as possible. (Image: Reuters)

For general devices | Log in with your Google account, open up the browser and go to myactivity.google.com. Click on “Activity Controls” on the upper left drop-down menu and turn off “Web & App Activity” and “Location History”. Unchecking these ought to stop location markers being recorded on one’s Google account. However, with these settings off, apps such as the Google Assistant or the Google Home smart speaker may not be particularly useful. (Image: Reuters)
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For general devices | Log in with your Google account, open up the browser and go to myactivity.google.com. Click on “Activity Controls” on the upper left drop-down menu and turn off “Web & App Activity” and “Location History”. Unchecking these ought to stop location markers being recorded on one’s Google account. However, with these settings off, apps such as the Google Assistant or the Google Home smart speaker may not be particularly useful. (Image: Reuters)

For devices using iOS | For Google Maps, select the “While Using” option under location settings, as it will prevent the maps from accessing the location while not active. Consider using other search engines on the Safari web browsers to ensure that Google does not keep a log of your locations. One can even turn off one’s location on the Safari browser by going to Settings-Privacy-Location Services-Safari Websites, and clicking to “Never”. Advertisers will still have a rough idea of one’s location based on the IP address on any website. The location service can be completely switched off by going to Settings-Privacy-Location Services. Google Maps and Apple Maps will work under this option, but would be ineffective in giving directions. (Image: Reuters)
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For devices using iOS | For Google Maps, select the “While Using” option under location settings, as it will prevent the maps from accessing the location while not active. Consider using other search engines on the Safari web browsers to ensure that Google does not keep a log of your locations. One can even turn off one’s location on the Safari browser by going to Settings-Privacy-Location Services-Safari Websites, and clicking to “Never”. Advertisers will still have a rough idea of one’s location based on the IP address on any website. The location service can be completely switched off by going to Settings-Privacy-Location Services. Google Maps and Apple Maps will work under this option, but would be ineffective in giving directions. (Image: Reuters)

For devices working on Android OS | From the settings option, go to “security & location.” Scroll to the “Privacy” heading and hit “Location.” One can effectively switch off the feature for the entire device. One even has control over the location features on an app-to-app basis by using the “App-level permissions”. To access Google applications online, it would be more prudent to sign in as a “guest” on one’s Android as well as keep a track of where one is active, like Google Chrome for instance. (Image: Reuters)
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For devices working on Android OS | From the settings option, go to “security & location.” Scroll to the “Privacy” heading and hit “Location.” One can effectively switch off the feature for the entire device. One even has control over the location features on an app-to-app basis by using the “App-level permissions”. To access Google applications online, it would be more prudent to sign in as a “guest” on one’s Android as well as keep a track of where one is active, like Google Chrome for instance. (Image: Reuters)

Location markers and other information stored on various apps on Google can also be deleted by opening myactivity.google.com. Choose the apps that one would like to view one’s activity of, by clicking on the “+” icon under the search tab. One can delete an entry by clicking on the icon with the three stacked dots and then pressing “Delete.” (Image: Google)
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Location markers and other information stored on various apps on Google can also be deleted by opening myactivity.google.com. Choose the apps that one would like to view one’s activity of, by clicking on the “+” icon under the search tab. One can delete an entry by clicking on the icon with the three stacked dots and then pressing “Delete.” (Image: Google)

First Published on Aug 13, 2018 07:23 pm
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