Internet with its increasing popularity and easy accessibility is growing at a rapid pace. Every time you access the internet via your smartphone to check your email, chat with your friends, view your favorite video on YouTube or simply to search for your favorite restaurant you leave a digital footprint of all the activities you performed. These digital footprints can lead to your privacy being compromised the next time someone else happens to browse your phone. It is serious as you are at risk of losing your personal information if you happen to lose your phone or is stolen and falls into wrong hands. Some of you have already started to wonder How To Use Your Smartphone Without Leaving A Digital Footprint?
Today we will answer this question How To Use Your Smartphone Without Leaving A Digital Footprint? It will prevent your device from being able to log in and store data where it will be easy for people to access it. We will show you how to clean the phone storage to limit yourself from sending information apps to send to the cloud.
Similar to the web browser on your computer, your phone also comes with a data limiting or private mode. When you access the browser in the incognito mode the app will not remember the pages you last visited and keywords searched by you once you close the window.
The Incognito mode will not make you invisible, for instance, if you are logged in Facebook, all your activity will be recorded by Facebook. Even your Internet service provider will see your browsing and will log your online behavior. Well if you choose to hide from your ISP you will need a Virtual Private Network(VPN). But for now Incognito will help you clean up records in your phones local storage, thus eliminating the risk of leaving behind a digital trail.
Most of the modern browsers come with the Incognito or private browser mode in case of Chrome, tap the Menu on the top right of the page and choose New incognito tab. In case you are in the normal browser and wish to clear save data then Tap Menu > Settings > Privacy > Clear browsing data. Most of the modern browser will have similar settings.
Erase your messages
We all use chat apps and like to keep our old conversations on the phone, but do we really need to have them. Its a personal choice but there is no need to keep the year’s old conversation on the chat really. In case you are using apps which come with self-destructing messages its good, if not then make it a practice to delete your old conversations. You can easily set the app to clear chat history automatically after a set period of time has elapsed.
In case you are using WhatsApp you can Go To Settings > Chats > Chat history > Delete all chats. This will clear your entire history all at once. Later you can check back regularly on your messages and re-erase your latest messages.
On iOS open Settings> Messages > Keep Messages, and set messages to automatically disappear after 30 days. If you choose to delete them manually, then you will have to go to the message, swipe left on the thread and then tap the Delete button.
In case of some chat apps like the default SMS app in Android, you will have to manually delete conversations as there is no auto purge option. On an Android device you simply long press on the message on the default SMS app to delete a conversation and then tap the Trash icon on the top right of the screen.
There are many other apps like Telegram, Facebook, and Snapchat which also come with self-destructing messages.
Limit app logging
There are various apps available and each comes with its own approach to your login activities. For instance recently introduced an incognito mode for Android, yet to be released for iOS. This feature allows users to watch videos without leaving tracks of the videos you watch. To activate this simply open the app, tap your avatar on the top right of the screen, and pick Turn on Incognito.
In the case of Google Maps, it will by default track your location which allows it to collect information about your real-world movement. To stop this open the app tap the Menu button and top left of your screen, and hit Settings if you are using android in case of iOS use the cog icon. Now proceed to select Personal content and turn off the location history feature.
Generally, you will find the incognito mode for most apps or there will be some setting to stop it from tracking your activities. In case this option is not present in the app you can manually do this depending on the operating system you have.
In case of Android open Settings > Apps & notifications, pick an app from the list and hit Storage > Clear storage. This will make the rework as a freshly installed app.
Whereas in the case of iOS, open the Settings app, tap General > iPhone Storage, and select one of your apps. Then choose Delete App to wipe all of its data. Finally, re-install the program from the App Store.
Obviously, you are not expected to do this every day but can set intervals like once every month or before going on a travel trip or when want to make a fresh start with your apps.
Clear Search History
Modern apps allow you to sync your data on other devices, for this, the data is either stored locally or over the cloud. To eliminate the risk of leaving behind a trace you will need to clear search logs from your phone and wipe the records across multiple platforms.
As in case you are using Google, it stores all your history of searches you have run on your phone. To clear these records you will have to access them from the web. Open your browser and go to Google activity history page. Click Menu and then Delete activity by. Set the time span and content type—to erase everything, those should be All time and Search, respectively—and click Delete. This option will clear all search history across all the Google-linked products on your Android phone.
In case of iOS, you will have to go to the Settings app, tap Siri & Search, and toggle off the Suggestions in Search switch. This will disable all your previous searches from popping up the next time someone else tries to look up.