June 15, 2024

It’s no secret. Almost everything you do online is tracked or recorded and used to learn more about you.

Many of your data points end up on creepy people search sites. You’ll be amazed to find out your full name, address, relatives, phone numbers and more. Below is a list of websites from which you can opt out of this invasion of privacy.

On your phone, apps probably do more watching and reporting than you realize. Take back control in just a few minutes in your setup.

Navigation applications use your phone’s GPS location to determine your exact location. Every time you navigate somewhere, that location is stored on your profile. Prepare to be shocked at what Apple and Google know about your roaming.

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Google saves where you’ve been

You probably want your maps app to keep track, but do you go back and see how all those tracks are doing?

If you’ve been using Google Maps for years, there can be a surprising amount of information about every place you’ve been. check it out:

After logging in, click your avatar, then choose Manage your Google account. or go to your Google account page here.

On the left, click data and privacy.

Under History Settings, click the location history.

In this illustration photo taken on March 10, 2020 in Krakow, Poland, the Google Maps logo is seen displayed on a smartphone. ((Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images))

At the bottom, click management history.

You’ll see a map with details about your saved home, work, and trips. You can search by year or drill down to a specific date in the Timeline box in the upper left corner.

Pick dates from years ago just for fun. If a trip is logged, you’ll see a blue bar. Click on a day to see all the places you’ve been, including time and mileage. If your photos are synced to your account, you can see any photos you took at your destination, at home, or anywhere else you went that day. You can disable it.

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Stop Google from going the right way

Maybe you like to walk down memory lane. Maybe it creeps you out. You can adjust your settings to prevent Google from tracking all of your travel.

Did you accidentally delete that sad text message?

Return to your Google account page.

On the left, click data and privacy.

Under History Settings, select location history. Click close.

Note: Google saves places you’ve been even when you’re not using certain Google services. That means you don’t even have to activate Maps as long as you’re OK with location reporting.

Turning this off will stop future tracking, but it will keep a copy of your history.

To completely delete your location history data, click automatically delete options.

You can choose to automatically delete data older than three months, older than 18 months, or older than 36 months. You can manually delete anything before then.

Cars on the street on Google Maps

Cars on the street on Google Maps (

If you turn off tracking, Google warns you that you might not see recommendations based on your history or travel, such as to make your commute easier. Your location may still be saved when you use other Google services.

Delve into: See everything Google knows about you in one search

Apple Maps is watching you

Like Google, recent destinations are saved in the Apple Maps app for easy lookup later. Places like your home, work, and favorite coffee shops may be saved to your favourites.

If you want to start from scratch, grab your iPhone or iPad.


(You’ll have to enter each entry individually from your phone, so it will take some time. Pro tip: It’s faster to type on a Mac connected to the same Apple ID. More on that below.)

Open Apple Maps. Scroll down until you see the recent part.

slide Move the route you want to delete from Apple Maps to the left until you see Delete.

tap delete.

If you want to delete a favorite location, scroll to Favorites section, then tap more. slide left on the favorite location you want to delete, then tap delete.

The quarter-sized Apple device allows users to keep track of their personal items via Bluetooth technology.

The quarter-sized Apple device allows users to keep track of their personal items via Bluetooth technology. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Do not have time? Here’s how to do it on a Mac.

Open Apple Maps app. scroll to recent in the sidebar.

Under Recent, click clear recent.

Want to remove a favorite location?according to Cmd + click a location (in the sidebar below Favorites), then choose remove from favorites.

Your location is used for various purposes in iPhone, including Find Me. I keep it on because I want to find my phone if I lose it.

However, you can stop sharing your location with all apps and services if you want. This includes Apple Maps.

go set up > privacy > location services.

to turn leave location sharing.

It’s another quick safety step when you’re messing around in the setup.

maintain your technical knowledge

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