At this point, digital privacy is long gone. There’s always another device, feature or service tracking what we say, what we look at online and the places we go.
Some devices are more intrusive than others, and you may be feeding digital assistants more information than you realize. You can fight back. Tap or click here to stop all the smart tech in your home from listening.
Social media is another big offender. Tap or click for my answers to your most-asked social media privacy questions. No judgment here.
When it comes to your phone, you can limit app permissions and disable certain features. But there’s still a map hiding deep within the settings of your iPhone that tracks everywhere you go. Here’s how to find it.
There are no secrets kept from an iPhone
Ever wonder how your iPhone is able to automatically pull up directions to work when you get in the car? Or when you leave for the day, do you wonder how your phone knows you’re heading home?
It’s not only part of location services but a separate and more in-depth thing called “Significant Locations.” Prepare yourself for a shock when you look at yours.
Want to know how to access it and, if you’d like, turn it off? Here are your steps:
- Open your iPhone’s settings
- Tap on Privacy
- Select Location Services
- Then tap System Services
- Scroll down until you see Significant Locations and tap on that.
TECH SMARTS IN YOUR INBOX: The tech world changes by the minute. Keep up with The Current, my smart, funny (and ad-free) newsletter. Tap or click here to try it.
After entering your password or opening up your phone with FaceID, you’ll see a list of locations you’ve visited. Now, some of them may seem a bit off to you, but that’s because the location is not always precise.
Tap on a place and it will open up a page with more specifics, including a map. Even if it didn’t peg you exactly right, it will have you in the area.
RELATED: Your AirPods are capable of a lot more than you think. Tap or click for 9 smart tricks, like listening with a friend or an easy way to find a lost earbud.
You can turn it off
Individually, you can edit locations so they will no longer be stored in your phone. To do that, tap on any city it had you in. Then, on the next screen, tap on the “Edit” button in the upper right-hand corner.
That will bring about a red circle next to the location, which you can then tap on to remove it.
If you’d like to turn off Significant Locations altogether, you just need to scroll to the top of the page that lists the city locations and tap on the green button on the top-right in the tab.
STOP TRACKING: If you use Google Maps, you may want to shut down that tracking, too. Tap or click to turn off Google location tracking for good.
Why does the phone track us like this?
Apple says this feature exists so that our phones can learn the places that are significant to us and therefore provide personalized services, like predictive traffic routing and improved Photos Memories.
That said, it certainly feels like an invasion of privacy and you might not be comfortable with it.
And who else can get their hands on it? According to Apple, no one. The company says the data that goes between your cloud-connected devices is encrypted. Unless someone steals your phone and password, there is nothing they can do to access it.
BONUS TECH SMARTS TIP: How to turn off political ads on your Facebook and Instagram feed
You’ve probably already seen a plethora of political ads from local and national candidates on your social media feeds. It’s only going to get more intense as the months drag on.
But this year, you don’t have to deal with political ads if you don’t want to — on Facebook and Instagram at least. If you’d like your social media feeds to be a bit quieter in the lead-up to Election Day, here’s how you can disable political ads in settings.
Tap or click to stop political ads in a few simple steps. Do it now while you’re thinking about it.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.
Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.