To attain the most fully-inclusive all-out secure experience on a smartphone, one must dispense with apps. Over the past several years, it’s become clear that surviving as an app developer, social networking brand, etcetera, one must monetize the user, rather than the content one provides to the user. As such, if you’re the sort of person that doesn’t like being tracked, it’s time to take some precautions.
Cut Out Apps
Just get rid of the lot. What apps do you use nowadays that couldn’t be replicated as an in-browser experience? Could you get by with a texting app, phone app, and a web browser for the rest? If you’re looking for the most assuredly secure way to go about using a smartphone – with regard to you being tracked and monetized – you’re gonna have to get rid of all your apps.
Turn off GPS
As we discussed in a special feature earlier this week, you’re almost certainly being tracked right now. A wide variety of apps track your GPS-based location data, pinging your device for said information many times a day – in some cases hundreds or thousands.
If you’d like to turn off your phone’s live location tracking – for you and all apps – hit the link in the paragraph above. I go over the process for both Android and iOS.
Make an un-trackable phone
If you want to go the whole nine yards, you’re going to want to go ahead and open up your phone. You’re going to go under the hood and modify the hardware. I do not recommend you do this. Mistakes under the hood are rarely easy to repair – and in most cases, one big mistake can destroy the functionality of your phone. In other words: DON’T DO IT.
Remove the following from your phone:
• GPS antennae
• SIM card
Without these items, your phone cannot see you, hear you, or track your location. It cannot connect to the internet if you’ve got Wi-fi turned off AND your phone’s ability to reconnect to Wi-fi automatically turned off. To reconnect to services, you’ll need to reinsert your SIM card and plug in an external microphone, which is a big hassle. So probably don’t do it. But if you really, truly want to be sure, this is the way.
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