How To Keep Targeted Ads From Following You

December 3, 2018

© Phartisan | Dreamstime

It's a creepy world where products you review tend to stalk your online presence for weeks at a time! Not as creepy but annoying is targeted advertising, in which your online habits are feed to advertisers who ensure ads of whatever you were searching for, follow you from web site to web site. As technology progresses, so does ad tracking, which combine basic physical information about you in the moment, such as your height, what you’re wearing, the look on your face, with a larger wealth of personal data broadcast through your phone. Both iOS and Android phones have a Mobile Advertising ID, which compiles all of the ad-related data on your phone for distribution. In fact, ad companies have already used these IDs to turn web-tracking into real-life tracking. Without your knowing, your phone's camera and ID numbers have been used in some cases to see whether or not you view an ad for a nearby store actually go there and, potentially, see whether that led to a sale. A little too much "Big Brother" for your tastes?  Fortunately you can turn this tracking software off but it can be tricky (as they don't want you to turn it off). Both iOS and Android allow you to opt out of sending your ID to third parties, and both give you the ability to reset your ID number. On iOS devices, opting out of sharing your ad data is a two-step process. For part one, you actually have to opt in to “limiting ad tracking,” rather than opting out of having your data tracked. (A clever language trick to make Apple seem like the good guy). In the settings app on your phone, go to “Privacy,” then “Advertising,” and toggle on “Limit Ad Tracking.” According to Apple Support, you can also reset your advertising ID by switching Limit ad tracking on and then turning it back off. For part two, which is a little trickier to find, you need to turn off sharing location data for advertising. As with step one, go to the System Preferences app and click “Privacy.” From there, select “location services,” then “system services,” and finally set “location-based Apple ads” to the off position. Obviously, if you have all location-based services turned off, you’re already set, but this is a good compromise, as well. On Android, go into the Google Settings app and click “Ads.” Check the box at the top of the menu marked “Opt Out of Interest-Based Ads,” which serves as a “do not track” request for your mobile ID. It also turns off personalized ads in Google apps on your phone. You can also reset your mobile advertising ID from the “Ads” menu by pressing, you guessed it, “Reset Advertising ID.”

SOURCE: Lifehacker

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