Three privacy settings that you should probably change right now
Guy Hall • December 15, 2020
Change these settings and protect yourself and your data
Data privacy is extremely important and, chances are, your phone could be doing a lot more to protect you and your information. Increasingly, as public awareness grows, tech companies have been trying to provide their users with more control over the privacy settings of their phones.
That said, the default settings are likely not geared toward privacy protection. Instead, if you want to safeguard your information, you’ll have to make some changes yourself.
In this article, we’re going to be looking at some simple changes that you can make to your privacy settings which likely won’t impact your phone’s utility, but will greatly impact the amount of data that you’re unnecessarily sharing.
These are just the basics, and you can definitely benefit from tightening up your settings further, but here’s our list of privacy settings that you should really consider changing now, and how to change them.*
*For the Android instructions, we were using a Google Pixel device. These instructions may vary from phone to phone but once you know what you’re looking for, a quick search online that includes your phone make and model should point you in the right direction.
Location privacy settings
When it comes to privacy settings, location is a great place to start.
Certain apps, like Google Maps, definitely do need to know your location in order to function properly.
But, there’s also a whole host of other apps that definitely don’t.
Like Shazam, the music identification app, for example. Does that really need to know where you are? We’re thinking not.
Location privacy settings on iPhone
- On your iPhone, start in Settings and head to Privacy.
- From there, you should see Location Services at the top.
- Once you’re in Location Services, you can go into individual apps and check their location settings.
It’s up to you what location access you grant each app, but we’d recommend opting for Never where possible or While Using the App for those apps that rely on knowing your location to function.
While you’re in there, we’d suggest turning off Precise Location on all the apps that don’t need it.
You can also stop Apple from storing information about your Significant Locations, places that you’re often located.
To do so:
- From the Location Services menu go to System Services.
- Then, simply tap on Significant Locations.
Once you’ve entered your password or scanned your thumbprint, you should be able to toggle this option off, as well as view a rather creepy list of your most visited recent locations.
Location Privacy Settings on Android
- In Settings, scroll down to Location.
- From Location, head to App Permissions and from there you can review if/when you want different apps to have access to your location.
We’d also suggest taking a look at your Google Location History (GLH) settings. GLH is used to keep track of locations that you’ve visited with your device. This information can then be used for targeted advertisements, to help you track your phone if you’ve lost it and similar purposes.
You can simply switch Location History off if you wish.
Alternatively, if you want to keep this setting on but don’t want data being stored for too long, you can edit how long your data is kept by heading into the Auto-delete menu and editing timeframes.
Microphone privacy settings
Addressing the privacy settings of your microphone is another straightforward and simple fix that’ll help protect your privacy.
In the past, we’ve looked at whether or not our phones are indeed listening to us, as many people claim. Even if you don’t believe they are, it’s better to be safe than sorry right?
So why not turn off microphone access for those apps that don’t need it?
Microphone settings on iPhone
You’re going to want to head down the same route as you did for the location settings.
- Go from Settings into Privacy.
- From here, go to Microphone.
You should then be greeted with a list of your apps and you can decide whether to toggle microphone access on or off.
As a general rule, if it feels like it doesn’t need access then it probably doesn’t.
Microphone settings on Android
- From Settings, go to Apps & Notifications.
- Next, hit Advanced and go to the Permissions manager.
- Here, you should see Microphone and once you’ve hit that, you should be able to manage permissions for individual apps there.
Ad-tracking privacy settings.
Companies use ad tracking, and similar tactics, to provide you with ads that are more likely to align with your interests and, therefore, be more relevant to you.
Doing so, however, requires the use of your personal data.
Removing ad-tracking won’t diminish the amount of ads that you are seeing, but it will reduce the amount of information that you’re sharing.
Ad-tracking privacy settings on iPhone
- As with the other privacy settings, start in Settings and go to Privacy.
- From here, scroll down to the bottom and tap Apple Advertising. Now you should be able to toggle Personalized Ads off.
It’s important to note that this setting will not follow you across apps and websites that are owned by other companies, this is strictly for Apple’s advertising platform.
Ad-tracking privacy settings on Android
This is buried a little deeper in the privacy settings of Android devices.
- Start in Settings, then go to Privacy.
- From there, tap Advanced.
- Next, go to Ads and toggle the Opt out of Ads Personalization option.
Security and privacy are important to Ting Mobile
So there you have it, three settings that you should consider changing to protect your privacy.
In today’s digital world, there’s several other key things to consider when it comes to safeguarding your information. For example, it’s really important that you exercise good password hygiene and make sure that your phone is secure.
If you combine your own efforts with those of the Ting Mobile team, who have extensive expertise in mobile and internet security best practises, then you’re onto a winner.
Not only are we committed to protecting your privacy, we’re also dedicated to giving you top-rated customer service and coast-to-coast coverage.
Oh, and did we mention our awesome new plans?
With all these great reasons to join Ting Mobile, why not see if you can bring your phone over to us today?
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