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6 Things You Should Turn off Immediately on Your Mobile Privacy Settings

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What is one thing you should turn off immediately on your iPhone/Android privacy settings and why?

To help you best maintain your privacy on your mobile phones, we asked information security & privacy professionals and tech-savvy business leaders this question for their best advice. From Nearby Device Scanning to App Tracking to Location Services, there are several items on the privacy settings of your mobile phones that you are advised to turn off immediately in order to protect your privacy when using these devices.

Here are six things these professionals turn off on their mobile privacy settings:

  • Nearby Device Scanning
  • Disable All the Sensors
  • Personalized and Location-Based Ads for iPhone
  • App Tracking
  • App Permissions
  • Location Services


Nearby Device Scanning

Turn off the "Nearby Device Scanning" option. This setting serves to connect your phone to nearby devices automatically. This can be helpful sometimes, but you probably do not need to utilize this setting most of the time. Furthermore, it can drain a lot of your phone battery. Also, remember that turning off your Bluetooth will not stop this setting from functioning.

Nick Shackelford, Structured Agency


Disable All the Sensors

If you're really privacy-conscious, you should definitely consider toggling off the hardware sensors in your Android smartphone. As long as you don't, your phone will pick up on everything you do, places you go to, the words you say and what others say to you. Turning the option off might be especially useful when you're about to have a meeting concerning sensitive matters.

Natalia Brzezinska, PhotoAiD


Personalized and Location-Based Ads for iPhone

If you don’t want to be spied on by advertisers, turn off personalized ads on your iPhone. Limiting ad tracking is about privacy. By turning off personalized ads, you better protect your identity online as it limits the amount of information big tech collects about your online behaviors and interests. Personalized ads can also gather contextual data, such as information about your device, its location, your App Store searches, and what you read on Apple News.

In the iPhone's privacy settings, you can see the information that turning off personalized ads will not reduce the total number of ads you receive. Well, it may not necessarily be true though. The less data about you is collected, the less valuable advertising target you become. Consequently, you might see fewer ads.

Agata Szczepanek, Resume Now


App Tracking

Privacy in the digital age is becoming more important than ever, especially when it comes to securing your digital footprint and understanding how your data is being used. The first thing one should do to better secure their online privacy is to uncheck the box that allows apps to track your online behavior. Apple and Google have made this easier than ever to combat companies like Meta that maliciously harvest your data and sell it to marketing companies. Go into your phone settings and either turn all tracking off globally, or individually uncheck the apps you don’t want to have your information. Either way, you take back the locus of control and are now aware of how your personal information is being used.

Michael Burghoffer, PicoSolutions


App Permissions

Closely monitor which apps run in the background. Change app permissions pertaining to camera, contacts, location, etc. to "only while using the app". This will ensure that apps running in the background are not unnecessarily tracking your internet searches, locations, camera, etc. For example- Snapchat asks permission to your Contacts, your camera, your location and audio. By only allowing it access while using the app, you get rid of unnecessary data tracking and spyware.

Agnes Zabawa, Insurancenavy


Location Services

Location services can pose a great danger for anyone so it is better to turn them off all the time except for the time when you need to use them. By enabling location services on your phone, you can sacrifice your security and get exposed to greater threats like, theft, assault or even worse, abduction. In addition to the other information about yourself that you share on public platforms (such as social media, blogs, comments, etc.), your location is a crucial data point. It's probably there to stay, it's searchable, and anyone can potentially see it if they go looking for it on the Internet.

Billy Parker, Gift Delivery

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