(FiveNation.com)- Are the apps you use on your smart phone or tablet putting you at risk from spying? Often when users download apps, enable permissions, or share data, they don’t give it a second thought. Many users don’t even realize that by enabling location services while installing an app, they are also making it easier for their phones to be tracked.
Now, some apps need location services on in order to work correctly. But many apps that don’t need it still request location services be activated, and oftentimes users will do so without even thinking about it.
Here are some simply steps to ensure your devices are protected.
The steps required vary between Apple products and Android, so these instructions are separated by product.
For an iPhone or iPad, these are the steps if you don’t want any apps to use location services:
• Tap Settings, scroll down to Privacy and open it, then open Location Services.
• If the first slider is turned on (green), it means that apps on your device can track you.
• Toggle the slider to the off position to deny your device from using Location Services with any app.
If you don’t want to turn off location services for every app, leave Location Services on (green) and select only the apps you want to change.
Under Location Services you will see the list of all the apps that have access to your location and how frequently it is used (this list will not appear if you switched Location Services from on to off).
Tap the specific apps for which you want to change the settings. It will give you the option to choose Never, Ask Next Time, While Using the App or Always.
To take advantage of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency, change its settings by tapping Settings, then Privacy, then selecting Tracking. Then toggle Allow Apps to Request to Track to the off position (not green).
For Android devices, first check to see which apps have access to your location:
• Swipe down from the top of the screen and press down on Location. If it’s not there, search your Settings menu and find Location.
• Tap App permission to see a list of apps that can access your location any time, only while it’s in use, or when you give permission.
• From there, you can change app permissions.
Another method to use on Androids:
• On your home screen, find the app’s icon. Touch and hold the icon for the app you want to adjust.
• Tap the Info icon > Permissions > Location.
• You can then select from All the time, Only while using the app, Ask every time, or Deny.
While turning off location services does prevent your smartphone from tracking your location, there are some disadvantages. Apps like Maps, Uber and whatever Weather app you use won’t be able to determine your location.
To solve that problem, you can either change the setting so that apps only use your location when the app is in use, or manually switch it on or off as needed.