The GPS receiver on your smartphone might seem like a real cool feature to have, but it can also be a major threat to your privacy. This Techspirited post helps you with tips to block GPS tracking on your smartphone.
In 1983, Korean Air Lines Flight 007 was shot down as it ventured into Soviet airspace owing to a navigation error. All 269 passengers on board were killed. This is what prompted the US government to release the Global Positioning System for civilian use, to avoid such mishaps in the future.
Privacy is perhaps one of the biggest concerns of people around the world today. We all seem to be living a virtual life, with almost everything right from our fond memories, and pictures, to bank details, and personal details, floating around on the ‘clouds’. A lot of security measures are in place to preserve the privacy of the users, these measures however, aren’t completely fool proof. This might not seem like an eminent threat to most people, as the number of cloud users is still comparatively low. With over 1.08 billion smartphone users around the world, mobile privacy however, is not something that we can afford to overlook.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
In the United States alone, there are more than 91.4 million smartphone users, most of them seem to be oblivious to the fact that the super-cool smartphones that they flaunt around, are capable of tracking their every move. Most smartphones these days come with an inbuilt GPS receiver. GPS (Global Positioning System), is a technology that enables users to pin-point their exact location on the face of the Earth, with the help of satellites. If enabled, a GPS enabled smartphone sends a signal with details about its position to a GPS satellite, which in turn sends back a signal to the phone, placing its location with respect to the rest of the world. This technology complemented with easy-to-use map software helps users find their way to almost any corner of the world. Some advanced software also give you timely traffic details, along with turn-by-turn details of the route to your destination, and also suggest alternative routes to get there. This technology however, can often be misused, thereby compromising on your privacy. A lot of seemingly harmless software can exploit the GPS function of your phone, and share your location details over the Internet. Also, some network providers keep a track of your location, and your other whereabouts. If you just keep simple things in mind though, you can easily disable this feature on your smartphone, and take charge of your privacy.
Given below are simple steps by which you can stop your smartphone from being tracked –
2. Location services
3. Uncheck – Use GPS Satellites
Drag down the notification bar at the top of your screen, and switch off ‘GPS’.
IOS 6.0 & above (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad)
3. Location Services
4. Turn off – Location Services
1. Swipe to the left on homescreen
2. Scroll down to ‘Settings’
4. Turn off – Location
Blackberry OS 10
1. From notification bar, select ‘Settings’
2. Location Services
3. Turn off ‘Location Services’
For older Blackberry OSs
1. From the Menu, go to ‘Options’
2. Advanced Options
4. GPS Services – Location Off
Rumors suggest that the FBI uses a mobile tracking technology code-named ‘triggerfish’ to track down your location, although they are ideally required to get a warrant to do so. The real worrisome fact here is that your phone may be tracked even if the GPS is switched off , without the assistance of the network providers. So, you might not be able to avoid this level of real-time tracking, but configuring simple settings on your smartphone can surely help maintain your privacy.