In today’s world where everything is online, personal data has a lot more value than you can even imagine. Privacy has become a big concern. You never who is sneaking up on you. If you want to know all about how your location is revealed on the internet and how companies and government can use it to track you, continue reading this article.
IP address is a label for your device which is connected to the internet. It is used to communicate with your device and that’s why it is unique to your device. It looks something like this.
The IP address is provided by ISP’s(Internet Service Provider), which is public and specific to different geolocations. So this already gives an overview of your area that you live in. If you want to check your ip address, click here.
But this only is not enough to track you down because these geolocations are often spread over several kilometers.
Global Positioning System is a satellite-based navigation system to locate the position of a device with a GPS receiver. Every smartphone device nowadays comes with a GPS system which is used for various apps to run. But you will say that “I have not enabled it”. But there are still many apps running in the background that have access to location services and still can access your device’s location. Now the question arises how can laptop and computer users get tracked, those devices don’t have any GPS system on them.
Right! brace yourself. Things are going to turn pretty high tech and this is next level stuff.
Through connected devices
Companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple use the very sophisticated method to determine exactly where you are at any moment. Whether you use a laptop or pc, if you have ever used internet on it your location is already compromised. If your router has ever connected to or was even just in range of a device with gps system on it, like smartphone, that phone notes all the mac addresses of the devices on that network. This information along with your phone’s gps location is sent to a database maintained by Google and Apple. That’s how they have all the details about the access points in your area and this is how you can use maps even on your computer or laptop. If these companies can do it government too can do it.
How to safeguard yourself?
Although i don’t know what pesky things you want to do by hiding yourself, still I respect anyone’s privacy. For windows and android devices you can disable location services by going to particular apps. Also don’t give websites in browser to track your loaction while browsing the internet. For the database part, you can ask Google and Microsoft to delete your tracking data.
Google gives you option to add _nomap to the end of your wi-fi ssid name , telling them that you don’t want to be tracked.
For Microsoft you can go to this page and enter mac address of your router to opt out of tracking.
Sadly there is no such workaround for Apple. Above everything you can also use a good VPN service which can save you from prying eyes. We recommend tunnel bear for that purpose.
Don’t get excited and start doing all the illegal stuff yet. There are still many ways to track you if you are doing some notorious work, but for the rest of the deal you are safe enough now.