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How Can You Protect Your Privacy from Smartphone Tracking?

Protect Your Privacy from Smartphone Tracking

Colleges are releasing apps that can track students on campus. What are the social implications? Contact Alvarez Technology Group today to protect the privacy and security of your company’s employees, customers, and data.  

Smartphone apps can track attendance and location on college campuses. This is just one example of how our smart devices can be used to track our whereabouts and behavior. In a free society, who should set the limits be?

“Technology has seeped into every aspect of our lives and nowhere more so than college campuses, where they are responsible for monitoring thousands or tens of thousands of students. So, the idea of using their smartphones to track…where they’re at on the campus at first blush sounds somewhat appealing,” according to Luis Alvarez, CEO of Alvarez Technology Group in Salinas, CA. However, Alvarez points out that the safety potential is shadowed by the intrusive nature of new tracking apps.

What Are the Larger Implications?

Students are already monitored by cameras on campus and tracked via other digital devices, such as smart cards used to enter their dorms and pay for food on campus. This condition is also true of society at large, where traffic cameras, combined with tools like facial recognition and AI, provide government agencies with unprecedented access to our movements. This is great if the authorities are tracking a fugitive, but what about the privacy rights of a law-abiding fugitive?

Commenting on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices used to track student movement on campus, Alvarez points out that, “Professors who are against this say that kids come to college to become adults, not to be coddled and babied.”

So, maybe universities should stick to teaching students rather than playing Big Brother.

Want to Know How to Protect Your Privacy?

For starters, you can turn off the location on your phone when you don’t need it for apps like Waze or to find businesses in your area. Remember that once it’s turned on your location is available to every app on your phone.

Note whether your mobile ID is enabled. Advertisers use this to match your ads to you. You can also limit what apps like Google maps store online. Otherwise, it tracks your coming and going forever. Did you know that QR codes you download track where you go inside certain stores?

In general, research apps before you download them and look for online reviews concerning how well they respect your privacy.

How Can You Protect Your Privacy on Your Smartphone?

You can adjust your location settings to protect your privacy when you aren’t actively using an app that requires them. If you’re using Facebook to check in at a local venue or to search for a nearby restaurant, don’t forget to turn the location setting off when you are done — this can also help conserve your battery.

Adjusting Privacy Settings on Android Phones

Under Settings –> Manage Applications, select the All Apps tab. Choose the App you wish to change, then go to Permissions to turn off any permissions that aren’t necessary.

Make the most of Android privacy settings to customize them to your preferences.

Adjusting Privacy Settings on iPhones

Under settings, click on the app you wish to adjust. Switch off unnecessary permissions.

Check out the privacy settings for other Apple devices.

Alvarez Technology Group is a Salinas, CA-based IT consulting company that helps its clients protect personal privacy and sensitive company data. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive IT managed services.

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