“Would you like to rate your experience at (fill in the blank)?” If you have a smartphone that pops up this message when you are grocery shopping, eating at a restaurant or going to the theater, this means that Google is tracking your movements. For many of us, how to stop Google from tracking your movements isn’t something we give too much thought to. What if, though, you have a reason to not want your movements monitored? Frankly, no one should want to be tracked by their smartphone.
If you’re in an Uber or other ride-hailing vehicle, having your tracking device on might make perfect sense from a safety standpoint. I made an Uber-safety video that everyone (especially women) should take time to not only watch but invest in the safety device I mention.
Not many of us know that if you don’t set up Google Maps in your phone correctly, it will track your every movement – whether you’re driving, flying or walking the dog! Google Maps will track your movements, down to the minute and that information is stored on its servers for up to eighteen months.
If you want to go back and look at where you’ve been, it might be a useful tool, but for many of us, it’s more than a little invasive to think that Google is cyber “stalking” us.
You can go into your Google settings (on your Google Map setting) and delete your location history.
To do that you will:
- Open Google Maps on your Android or iPhone
- Open the menu bar
- Choose “Timeline”
- At the top right of that screen, choose the three dots
- Tap “settings and privacy”
- Change it from “keep until I manually delete” to “keep for three months (or eighteen-months)” Unless you can think of a reason for Google to keep your movements stored for more than three months, I recommend opting for the three month deletion time.
If you have children who have smartphones, you may want to check their phones as well and set it up to manually delete their location history
I run an IT & Cyber Security Consultancy focusing on Business ContinuityDisaster Recovery (BCDR). We work professionals in many fields including legal and medical.
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