Are Your Devices Spying on You? Here’s How to Stop It
Though you might not realize it, your electronic devices are probably spying on you. These things, like your cell phone, know everything from what you are reading to where you are at any given time. How do they know it? Well, many times, you actually give the device and its apps permission to collect the information. . And while some of the following instructions are somewhat “limited”, setting up privacy requires a little bit of digging. So, dig in ! Here’s how to stop it:
Stop Your Laptop from Spying
Do you use Windows? If you do, you can limit what you share by going to “Settings” and clicking “Privacy.” Here, you can enable or disable settings for the apps you have on your laptop. You have to do this each time you install a new app.
Are you using a Mac? If so, you can definitely limit how much information you send to Apple by clicking on the Apple menu, choosing System Preferences, and then Security & Privacy. In the “Privacy” tab, you can see information on what apps can share. When you click “Analytics,” you can see more. Keep in mind that if you install a new app, you need to do this again.
Google is well known for its love of collecting data, so if you have a Chromebook, you should really pay attention. Go to “My Activity,” and then delete anything you want. You can also stop some of the devices data collection by choosing “Manage Your Google Activity,” and then clicking “Go to Activity Controls.”
As with laptops, you can do the same with a cell phone.
If you own an Android phone, choose “Google,” and then choose “Personal Info & Privacy.” Then choose “Activity Controls.” There, you can choose what to share. As with the laptops, you have to update this each time you install a new app.
If you own an iPhone, you can find a Privacy setting when you look at the Settings menu. Open this, and then click on “Analytics.” This allows you to see what you are sharing with Apple. You can easily toggle it all off if you like. For every app, you can go back to the “Privacy” settings, and then check these settings for every app you have on your phone.
You might be surprised to know that your fitness tracker could also be spying on you. Apps like FitBit and Strava are controlled through the Privacy and Settings options on your phone, but there is more you can do, too.
On the FitBit app, you can tap on your profile, and then the account name. Tap on “Personal Stats,” and then “Settings” and “Privacy.”
On the Strava app, click on “Menu” or “More,” depending on what type of device you have. Then, choose “Settings” followed by “Privacy Controls.”
Written by Robert Siciliano, CEO of Credit Parent, Head of Training & Security Awareness Expert at Protect Now, #1 Best Selling Amazon author, Media Personality & Architect of CSI Protection Certification.