If you are making use of an Android device, then you would need the steps on How to Increase Your Privacy on Android by Changing These Settings. A lot of Android devices are accommodated bundled with Google’s service designed to track your every move, both offline and online. Google apps constantly collect details of your web activity across all signed-in platforms.
And if you are always carrying your phone with you like most people, the search giant knows where you go and when. Even apps that are third-party on Android devices require permissions to be able to gather as much of your data as possible.
How to Increase Your Privacy on Android by Changing These Settings
Advertiser makes use of this to generate extensive, intrusive data mining in other to serve you personalized ads. With that said, Google has recently introduced new policies in other to make Android far more privacy-friendly than its previous iterations, offering users much better control over their private information. Android versions 11 and up now possesses a dedicated privacy Dashboard that conveniently allows you to disable ad profiling.
Making changes to some of the settings can actually aid with increasing your privacy on Android. Plus, you can choose to adopt practices in other to evade online tracking better.
Opt-Out of Personalized ads and Location Tracking
Android needs a Google Account for users to be able to gain access to its full functionality. But it also ties a unique profile web activity and location timeline to that account. In other for you to access the profile, either head over to My Google Activity in your browser or navigate to settings > Privacy (or Settings > Google > Manage Your Google Account > Data and Privacy for older phones.)
First, you would be required to locate the History settings section and tap web & App Activity. Scroll down the page and hit to see All activity controls button. Here you get to review and turn off-website, voice, and audio activity across all Google services – including Play Store, maps Google Search, Assistant, and Ad Analytics.
Pausing this history would give you a search result that is slightly less personalized, however. You should also be able to delete all previous activities. Or, you can set the auto-delete duration between 3-18 months if you do not wish to pause the history.
You should locate the History toggle in the same section. It can be turned off or set to auto-delete every few months. Lastly, Ad personalization would be disabled which is as simple as unchecking the box and flipping the toggle. These tweaks nowadays are expected to bring an increase in your privacy immediately.
More Tips on Privacy and Practices
Just be frugal with the apps. As a rule of thumb, the more the apps you have installed on your Android, the more exposed your privacy is. Only keep the apps that you need and erase the rest. Also, review the permissions for each of the apps.
Instead of making use of the Google Chrome browser, try using Brave or DuckDuckGo. DuckDuckGo browser is great at blocking trackers and cookies and it offers several privacy-enhancing features. Also, it sends queries to DuckDuckGo Search engine, which does not track users. However, there is a slight trade-off when it comes to the quality of the private search results compared to Google’s.
Most apps on the PlayStore and Google Services are proprietary Software. This means that they are closed source and cannot be audited or tweaked by regular developers.
On the other hand, FOSS which means Free and Open-Source Software is much more privacy-centric. On can find more open-source alternatives to many of your favorite apps on stores like F-droid in other to increase and even take back your privacy.