These default settings of your phones, online services and social media will collect tons of information about you

These default settings for your phones, online services and social media will collect tons of information about you


Autumn is the big annual unboxing for mobile device manufacturers. Whether or not you're buying a new smartphone, the basics outlined here also apply to search engines and social media. In a nutshell, the default settings (or factory if you prefer) remain for these giants a real open door to your privacy – and with everything that follows; advertisements, tracking, profiling, geolocation, etc. 

Take for example the voluntary sharing of data that you are asked for when you first use a product in order, apparently, to t it, detect bugs, improve services, develop better algorithms, etc. Recent cases or discoveries demonstrate that in reality the collection of information is very real.

So as soon as you get your hands on a new device or use a new service, take the time to dig through the menus and commands to find what to uncheck.


Let's start with Google devices and services which, as we know, is an advertising giant. All its services (search engine, YouTube, Google Maps and others) are linked to Google accounts (required to use its online services) on which you can see your own activities on

< p>If you are like billions of people using Google services, go to the site above to disable these three categories: “Web & App Activity”, “Location History”. » and “YouTube History”.

For each, you can choose to disable everything or, as several experts suggest, choose to automatically delete activities older than three months. During this time, Google services may be used to provide you with helpful recommendations based on your recent usage or searches.

A word about Android phones with newer versions that allow approximate rather than precise geolocation. You can choose the location type depending on the intended use; approximate for your weather app or precise for road navigation.

Who can see what you post


Another internet giant linked to advertising revenue (of which you are the product, don't forget), the privacy checker tool in the settings menu is worth checking to prevent spying by a number of organizations and other marketers.

For the Who can see what you post item, choose “Only me” for people with access to your friends list and the pages you follow and select “Friends” for people who can see your birthday.

To Who can find you on Facebook, select “Me only” for people who can search for you by email or phone number.

As for Advertising Preferences, uncheck the items “relationship status”, “employer”, “job title and education”. In this way, marketers cannot serve targeted advertisements based on this information.


As known, Apple primarily derives its income from the sale of products; computers, iPhone, iPad, watches, and services like iTunes, Apple TV+. Still, there are settings here and there to uncheck.

Concerning iPhone data sharing, go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Follow to close Allow apps to follow. Applications are prohibited from sharing data with third parties.

Still in Privacy & Security, scroll all the way down to open Apple Advertising and uncheck Personalized Ads there. As Apple states, this choice “will have the effect of limiting Apple's ability to choose relevant advertisements…” on its App Store, News, or Stocks services.

In the same place, open Analytics & Improvements to uncheck Analytics Sharing.

Back to top to open Location Services > System Services (bottommost) to uncheck iPhone Scan and Directions & Traffic to prevent location-based data from being shared with Apple.


Windows computers come with a host of data sharing settings enabled by default to help Microsoft, advertisers and websites learn more about its users. To disable these settings, open the settings menu and click Privacy & Security, then General. This is the place to clean up.