Android Smartphone Settings for Privacy

I was just asked to write up some tips for managing privacy on smartphones. I figured this would be generally useful to share with folks on the Internet.

1. Many Android phones track a person's location history. You can check if Google has your location history by logging into your Google account and going to:

If you want to turn this feature off, on your smartphone, go to:
  Google Settings (app) -> Location -> Location History

Or go to:
  Settings -> Location -> Google Location History


2. You can also choose to opt out of personalized ads. Android phones can share an advertising ID with sites, and this ID can be used to build up a profile of interests. These advertising IDs are just like web browser cookies.

If you want to turn this feature off, go to:
  Google Settings (app) -> Ads

Or go to:
  Settings -> Accounts -> Google -> Personal Info & Privacy

You can also use this screen to generate a new advertising ID if you wish.


3. You should add a screen lock to your phone, just in case you lose your phone or if it's stolen. You can find the right settings if you go to:
  Settings -> Security


4. You should also turn on remote location and remote lock and erase, in case you lose your phone. To do this, go to:
  Google Settings (app) -> Security

You'll see that there are some other useful features here for protecting your phone.


5. You can also see basic personal information Google has about you, and do some basic privacy settings here:
  Google Settings (app) -> Personal info & privacy


6. Lastly, you can go to to manage settings that are connected with your
Google account (rather than just your smartphone). In particular, try out the Privacy Checkup.


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