Online Privacy While Apps Track Your Every Move
We all value our privacy, and none of us enjoy having our dirty laundry aired for the world to see. However, it’s become more difficult than ever to protect your online privacy. Even when implementing protective measures such as turning off location settings, that may not be enough. The uphill battle for online privacy continues. What makes things worse is that now even apps can track you, and it’s completely legal. So, what can you do to stay private online amongst all the current tracking?
In this article, we’ll look at why you’re being tracked and how apps are tracking you. We’ll also be discussing how you can stay private by using different proxies such as location-specific Brazil proxies from a reliable provider like Smartproxy. Keep reading to find out how you can remain private in a world where apps track your every move.
Are You Being Tracked?
The simple answer is yes. Unless you take very specific precautions, you are most likely being tracked. Many businesses have realized that if they can collect more data about their target audience, they can create more personalized advertising. More targeted advertising can lead to more conversions and revenue. Since this data has become valuable, many businesses use tracking as a side business. If they don’t use this information for their own marketing, they can sell it to other companies who are willing to pay for the information.
Your life can easily become an open book to those who know how to track you. By following your IP address, these individuals can see where you’ve been, what stores you’ve visited, which doctors or specialists you visit, and they can even know where you spent the night. Apps like Spotify can track your music preferences, and soon you may see ads popping up for musical shows near you. The same goes for where you shop and even restaurants you visit.
Apps are the latest way that businesses are tracking you. Every app that you install on your mobile device or computer has the potential to collect some of your data. And this invasion of privacy is completely legal. There have been specific cases where it has been made public that apps track you as well.
Facebook is one of the apps that track you, and although this is nothing new, it’s the extent of the tracking that has users concerned. For one, it has been discovered that Facebook doesn’t just track you while the app is in use. The app can also track you through any other app that you link to your Facebook account. Whenever you install a new app and choose to use Facebook as your method to sign in, that gives Facebook permission to track you through that app as well.
How Are Apps Tracking You?
The very simple reason for apps tracking you is that at some point, you allowed it. When you install and start using apps, they ask you to grant certain permissions. Presumably, these permissions are to ensure that the app works correctly. However, some of these permissions don’t seem quite realistic upon closer inspection. For example, why would a puzzle game need access to your contacts and media (photos and videos)? Or why does a word processing app need access to your microphone?
In some cases, these permissions are necessary. For example, your navigation app can’t give you step-by-step instructions without having access to your GPS. Your messaging app (if you’re not using the default app) won’t be able to send messages or make calls without access to your contacts. So it’s important to monitor what permissions you allow on apps closely.
How Can You Stay Private?
The best way to keep apps from tracking you is by using a proxy server. A proxy will act as the middleman or buffer between the user and the internet and apps or sites being used. These apps will then see the proxy details instead of the user. To be even more secure, you can choose a location specific proxy. This will make it appear like you are accessing the internet from within Brazil, even if you’re not. This will make it impossible for apps to track you.
However, for even better results, you should also use other protective measures along with a proxy. You should carefully monitor your app permissions and make sure that you aren’t allowing permissions unnecessarily. Also, if it’s an app that you use often and you know it needs certain permissions, make sure to enable the option that only allows these permissions while you’re using the app.
Online privacy may sometimes feel like a myth. With so many websites and apps tracking for marketing and other purposes, it may seem like getting real privacy is a losing battle. However, by using proxies along with other protective measures such as disabling location settings and evaluating permissions, you can start to keep your activities private.
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Get The Free Collection of 60+ Big Data & Data Science Cheat Sheets. Stay up-to-date with the latest Big Data news.