Have you been in a scenario where you were researching a product online, and a pop-up ad for it appears in your Instagram or Facebook feed?
Nowadays, most websites and apps have a built-in track feature that collects personal information and monitors your online behavior for marketing purposes. But, if you want to keep your data and privacy hidden from these apps, you have the option to do so.
So, without further ado, let us learn how you can disable apps from tracking you.
How Do Apps and Websites Track You?
- Location Tracking: With mobile users, the GPS feature comes in handy when you need help with directions. But, in many instances, the location feature can still monitor and track you even when you are not using your Map app.
- Website Cookies: Cookies are known for storing your information, like your passwords and log-in credentials. But, it can also track and monitor our activity on the internet. It can help build a profile of users and market more targeted advertisements to them.
- Terms and Conditions: There might be a legal clause in the app’s conditions to have access to your activity. Apps can legally bind you if you have agreed upon their set terms and conditions.
How to Disable App Tracking on iPhone?
With iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a new privacy feature called App Transparency. This feature prevents apps from tracking users and gives them the authority to keep away from being targeted for advertisements.
So, before moving on with the steps to disable app tracking, please make sure your operating system is updated to iOS 14.5 or the newer versions. To check, Go to Settings > General > Software Update. Click on the Download and Install option, if necessary.
If you have a newly installed application on your device, try launching the app. You should see a prompt that says, ‘Allow app to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites? Tap on the Ask App Not to Track option.
How to Turn Off App Tracking for All Apps?
To disable app tracking from your iOS devices, here is what you can do.
- Open your Settings app.
- Scroll down and tap on Privacy.
- Click on the Tracking option.
- Turn off the toggle for Allow Apps to Request to Track.
Alternatively, you also have the option to disable app tracking on an App-by-App basis.
Note: Apps like Facebook and Google can still track you based upon the agreement you have signed on while installing the app.
How to Disable Location Tracking?
Apple makes it easy to disable location tracking on any iOS device, including the iPhone. So, If you still want to put an extra layer of protection, here is how to do so.
- Launch your Settings app.
- Scroll and select the Privacy option.
- Tap on the Location Services option.
- Disable the Toggle for Location Services.
Alternatively, the location services allow you to turn off your location by managing them per app. For example, you can authorize Google Maps to track your current location but still turn off the same option for Instagram.
You have the options to choose between Never, Ask Next Time, While Using App, or Always.
How to Delete Location History?
If you are still getting ad recommendations based on your previous locations, we suggest you delete your entire location history from your device. Here is how to do so.
- Go to your Settings.
- Tap on Privacy > Location Services.
- Scroll down to the bottom and tap on System Services.
- Press on Significant Locations.
- Enter your Face ID/Fingerprint/Passcode.
- Click on the Clear History option.
How to Disable App Tracking on Android?
In most cases, by default, location tracking and ad tracking features are enabled on your Android phone. Let’s learn how to disable these features.
How to Disable Location Tracking?
Many applications on your Android devices can track your current and past locations. It allows them to collect your data and show you targeted ads based on it. To disable this function,
- Navigate to the Settings app.
- Scroll and locate the Location option.
- Disable the toggle for Location.
To disable only specific apps, head over to the Location option again. Please make sure you have turned on the toggle for the location. Tap on the App Permissions option. Click on the app you want to stop tracking, and click on Deny to confirm.
How to Disable Ad Tracking?
In most Android devices, there are built-in Ad-Tracking features that allow advertisers to have better targeting to show relevant advertisements. To disable it,
- Locate and tap on your Settings app.
- Scroll and tap on Google.
- Click on the Ads option.
- Turn off the toggle for Opt out of ad personalization.
How to Disable Tracking on Your Browsers?
Even with web browsers, It’s no secret that they are constantly tracking you. Though there’s no known privacy threat, it can be a growing concern how much browsers have information about you. But you have the option to control that.
On Google Chrome
- Navigate to the top-right corner and click on the User icon.
- Select the Manage your Google Account option.
- From the left side panel, select Data and Privacy.
- Under the History Settings section, click on Web and App Activity.
- Click on the Turn off button.
- Click on the Pause button to confirm your action.
- Open up your Safari Browser.
- Navigate to the menu bar and click on Safari.
- Select the Preferences option.
- Under the Privacy tab, check the boxes for Prevent cross-site tracking and Hide IP address from trackers.
How to Stop Facebook From Tracking Your Data?
Facebook knows a lot about you, but it can also track the websites you visit online and which online stores you buy from, even when you’re not using the app. So, here’s how to stop that.
- Navigate and click on the drop-down arrow on the top-right of your screen.
- Click on Settings and Privacy > Settings.
- From the left panel, click on Your Facebook Information.
- Click on the Off-Facebook Activity option.
- Under the What you can Do section, click on the Manage your Off-Facebook activity.
- Enter your log-in credentials.
- On the More Options section, click on Manage Future Activity.
- Disable the toggle for Future-Off Facebook activity.
- Click on the Turn Off button to confirm.
Use Third-party Apps and Extensions
As we previously mentioned, certain apps still might track you based upon the terms and conditions you have signed while installing the app. So, we recommend you use app extensions like Private Badger or DuckDuckGo to secure private browsing and block Facebook and Google Trackers from monitoring your activity.