Do you ever wonder why certain ads are coincidentally directed to you? Say you were planning a trip outside of the city and the next day you notice ads on a game or an app showing a hotel advertisement or perhaps even a car rental advertisement. Most of you are aware and fine with Facebook marketers to aim their products to you as long as its relevant to you. By default, Facebook privacy settings are set to that. It’s not only Facebook, but Google, Apple and other big name companies are in on it. It’s just how the internet works today, especially if we want to continue with free services, a trade off if you will.
Siri, Ok Google, and Cortana are all services provided for free and while it may come in handy, if you’re not the fan of targeted marketing, you may have no other choice. The only way around it is by stop using siri and ok google and turning off their services completely. For Android Marshmallow, you could turn certain permissions off as well as rooting older version like lollipop to turn them off. There are other ways to help lessen the marketing blow.
1. Facebook’s ‘like’ button
How to stop it: if you log out of Facebook when you’re done, the site’s ability to track your browsing is severely hampered. Of course, equally hampered is your ability to like things and comment on posts. Are you happy making that trade-off?
2. Smartphone location services
If you have an iPhone, try this: click on settings, then privacy, then location services, system services and frequent locations. You’ll notice a list of all the cities you’re in regularly. Click on any specific city, and you’ll find that your phone knows all the locations you frequently visit.
How to turn it off: both companies let you turn off location histories from the same pages you can look at yours. But if you do that, they’ll get a lot worse at giving you accurate and useful location suggestions. There’s that pesky trade-off again.
It’s no surprise that a company that sells you cheap cabs through a slick app keeps data on your journeys. And that data is well-used by Uber to reassure customers that their journey is safe: the company will show you your ride history as well as information about your driver which can be crucial for solving disputes or, if the worst happens, ensuring justice.
How to turn it off: the best way would be not to use Uber. But there’s that trade-off again: old-school taxis, whether hailed from the street or called from a dispatch office, are going to end up charging you a lot more for your newly anonymous journey.
4. Mobile phone networks
How to turn it off: stop using a mobile phone. Seriously, this one isn’t going away. If you’ve got a removable battery, you can try taking that out when you don’t want to be tracked, but whenever you turn your phone back on, your mobile phone network is going to know where you are.
5. Exif data in your pictures
Did you know that digital photographs contain information about the picture? Known as Exif data. Most of the time, one has to enable this feature but sometimes as users we press “Ok” more often than “don’t use”.
How to turn it off: most cameras let you disable embedding location data in the files, but the good news is that social networks are one step ahead of you – and this time, they’re on your side. Facebook and Twitter both strip the metadata from images uploaded to the site, causing a headache for users who need the extra information but protecting those who don’t know that they’re uploading potentially sensitive data.