Mobile devices have cemented themselves in day-to-day life, so much so that people feel uncomfortable when they don’t know where their smartphone is or if they don’t have it on their person. Furthermore, devices can keep track of your location; this goes for the applications on your device, as well. How do you keep track of which devices have these privileges, and what do you do to manage them?
The big thing to keep in mind is that not all of these apps need to know where you are at any given point in time. Let’s take a look at when it might be appropriate (or inappropriate) for apps to know your physical location.
Certain apps actually do need access to your location to function, like your preferred map application. Since it is providing directions, it needs your precise location so as to accurately provide the best results. That said, apps like social media or shopping apps might not necessarily need your location data in the same way. They can request this information to provide a better user experience, but rarely do they actually need it for anything.
The long and short of it is that apps which request your location, but don’t do much with it, can put your privacy at risk.
To make changes to your privacy settings in Android, you tap and hold the app on your app menu. Follow the path for App Info > Permissions > All Permissions. Find Location and check that Approximate location is enabled and Precise location is disabled.
First, access your Settings, then go to Privacy > Location Services. From there, check that the Precise Location option is switched off.
You need to keep your data safe, even from the services that you use each and every day. We recommend that you take some time to go through your apps and see which ones are accessing data that they shouldn’t—location included.
Computerware can help you to keep your data as safe as possible. To learn more, call us at (703) 821-8200.
About the author
Computerware has been serving the Vienna area since 1976, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.