How to make your cell phone untraceable?

How to make your cell phone untraceable?

Today’s cell phone users are faced with an ever-increasing problem. It is about the respect of privacy. The scandals concerning large-scale telephone surveillance by the NSA (revealed by Edward Snowden) and other intelligence services have caused controversy in recent years, forcing users to look for ways to secure their personal data. In this article, we give you some tips on how to make your mobile device untraceable.

#1 Stop allowing mobile applications to access your location

Your itinerary, your movements, your position are personal. Almost all applications require, before or after installation, an authorization for access to your location. Very often and without reading the entire request, everyone grants it; this helps trace your movements, whereas many of them work well without this feature. The ideal way to make your phone untraceable would therefore be to disable location sharing. This is the basis for untraceability. Why would a photo collage or translation application need your location?

#2 Disable GPS and your cell phone’s unique identifier

To not be tracked, you can also make it easier and disable GPS on your phone from your settings or dedicated applications. By scanning the screen of your smartphone from top to bottom, you will see a list of options. One of them is called “Location” (for the most advanced smartphones) or “GPS” (for older generations of smartphones); turn it off if you intend to make really personal, even intimate trips.

The unique identifier of your mobile phone is also favourable for tracking it. It is a unique series of numbers created by your device and transferred to advertisers and application authors. Your searches and publications on the web are linked to this identifier. This activity on the Net is generally associated with your geolocation information which, once transmitted to companies, allows them to have knowledge of your browsing history. If you are using an Apple Smartphone, go to the “Settings” menu, then “Privacy”; then go to “Advertising” to activate the “Limited ad tracking” option.

If you’re an Android phone, go to “Settings”, then “Google”; “Advertising”, then “Disable ad personalization”, and that’s it.

#3 Don’t let Google store your location data

Google is the mastodon of geolocation. And to use an Android phone, you need a Google account. This account is a highly exploited channel that stores a wealth of data from the location linked to your phone. You have the option to stop this collection of your data through the “Data and customization” option of your interface. This not only allows you to put the history of your various locations on standby, but also to avoid possible problems of overheating of your phone.

In addition to these three tips, you can also

  • Turn off your smartphone (then remove the battery) and use during your important trips models of phones without GPS chip: a Nokia 8210 or a Nokia 3310 for example;
  • Install a private VPN and configure it as explained here, in order to bypass online monitoring systems;
  • Install Smartphone ROMs to report fictitious positions and bypass some tracking programs.
Your smartphone is spying on you without your knowledge!

Your smartphone is spying on you without your knowledge!

A new study looked at the amount of information collected by smartphones. Using only geolocation, two researchers were able to discover information such as the health status, religion and even ethnicity of users.

Virtual reality games, dating, mapping and weather applications… All these mobile applications require access to your location data, but they actually collect much more information. Two researchers, from the University of Bologna and University College London, have just published a study looking at the private information of users that can only be inferred through geolocation.

A group of 69 volunteers installed an application called TrackAdvisor that tracks their movements and was created especially for the study. It collected more than 200,000 locations in 2,500 places. TrackAdvisor was thus able to infer more than 5,000 personal information. Volunteers were able to note whether these inferences were accurate and private. Researchers discovered a wide range of information including health, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and religion of participants.

“Thanks to machine learning techniques, this data provides sensitive information such as users’ homes, habits, interests, demographics and personality information,” said Italian researcher Mateo Benni.

This is the first study of this magnitude. In 2019, the Kotaku site was interested in the data of 10 volunteers collected by Niantic, a developer of augmented reality mobile games such as Pokémon Go. Their conclusions were similar at the time, but this new study is much more precise, thanks in particular to artificial intelligence. To counter this invasion of privacy, the researchers came up with a system designed to alert users when they visit places like hospitals, or block data collection from third parties.