How to stop your iPhone and apps from tracking you 24/7

Imagine if you were asked to carry around a device that pinpointed your location 24/7, pretty much anywhere on the planet? Chances are you already do.

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The iPhone has a remarkable ability to pinpoint your location, using a variety of technologies and tricks. And it can make this location data available to apps that you have installed. Every so often, it's a good idea to audit the apps you have installed that can access your location data, and control when they have access to it.

And iOS now has the ability to allow you to specify under what conditions an app can use your locations data.

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First off, not convinced that the iPhone is tracking your every move? Head over to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Significant Locations and look for yourself.

iPhone is watching... always watching!

iPhone is watching... always watching!

OK, are you convinced? Here's how to rein back control over what data apps get access to.

Fire up the Settings and go Privacy > Locations Services.

Location Services

Location Services

Assuming Locations Services is enabled, you will get a list of apps that use your locations data -- any in there that surprise you? -- and you can click on the various apps to change its settings.

Choose from:

  • Always
  • While Using the App
  • Ask Next Time
  • Never

Note that not all apps will offer all the options.

The app will also give you a brief explanation as to why it is requesting your location data.

How do you stop your iPhone -- or any smartphone for that matter -- from knowing your location? Given that smartphones use a variety of tech tricks to know where you are -- GPS, Wi-Fi, cell towers -- the only way to be 100% sure that your location is not being tracked is to turn your smartphone off.

Yes, if you're security conscious -- or paranoid -- turn it off!

Sure, you could turn off Location Services (Settings > Privacy > Location Services), but your device is still leaving a digital breadcrumb trail that, at the very least, is being logged by your cellphone service provider.

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