Tips & TricksHow To

Protect Your Privacy on Android to Minimize Google’s Data Collection

We on daily basis add a lot of our personal information to our smartphones that also include Android handsets. On the other hand, we seem so much concern about our privacy. Isn’t it? Threats to our security and privacy are all way around. One of the biggest threats people usually neglect is from those companies that provide operating systems for our smartphones (Android phones) including Google but we can minimize Google’s data collection to protect your privacy on your Android.

Everybody is aware of the fact that Google provides so many services and software for free. A question raise here! IF GOOGLE IS PROVIDING FREE OF COST SERVICES, THEN HOW COME IT IS THE WORLD’S MOST VALUABLE BRAND?

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Let us tell you what is the story behind this! Google wants to be paid from the advertisers, not the customers because of course, advertisers are offering it more. Google accomplishes this by making its services available to as many people as possible, indirectly accessing the personal data of consumers and collecting all that information. Google hands over this data to the highest paying companies, that want to deliver their ads to the targeted population. As these days, almost all the smartphones are filled with personal information in any form that can match the interest of a customer with a perfectly targeted ad. Google collects such data from the masses using its free software including Android.

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But you cannot simply set aside and watch helplessly from a corner, you can shield your personal data by following the tips given below:

1. Opt Out of Ads Personalization:

Google provides advertisers with information such as your location and what app do you use by using an Advertising ID.

Google let you take control of this data by allowing you to opt out of such personalized ads. Thus, you can prevent any sort of access from the advertisers towards your advertising ID.

Go to your phone’s main Settings, select Google, then click on Ads and select Opt Out of Ads Personalization. This is disabled now.

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2. Change Your Default DNS Server:

Using an IP address, the location of devices and websites on the internet can be recorded. As you go to the website, you do not type a whole series of numbers, but instead the name of the website with a domain like .com, .org or .net. After typing, this request is sent to a server which tallies what you typed to the site’s IP address, which then directs your traffic to the asked location. This server is known as DNS or Domain Name System.

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Android’s default DNS is provided by the respective mobile carrier. Many people trust Google over Spectrum or others and therefore switch their DNS servers to Google because Google’s DNS servers are normally faster. When you use Google, it can see the request you made to its server and can create your advertisement profile to sell on ads.

Android doesn’t provide you with many options to switch your DNS server easily which is a problem. But an app has been created to sort it out. A DNS Changer App!

DNS Changer - Secure VPN Proxy
DNS Changer - Secure VPN Proxy

Select Open DNS>press Start>a pop-up emerges telling you that the app will create a VPN connection, select OK.

Now, your request cannot be read by Google because you have switch your DNS server over.

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3. Use a VPN to Encrypt All Traffic:

Use of a VPN can also protect your data by automatically switching your DNS service. Virtual Private Networks, VPN reroutes the traffic through a secure server thus protecting your data.

Using your IP address, which is an identifiable marker, the data can be transfer to or from your personal devices by Google or any hacker. A VPN will hide this IP address by converting the traffic from your device to its server thus acting as a barrier between you and internet. The IP address seen by the recipient will be that of VPN, not yours and in this way, your data can be made secure. By encrypting your data traffic, another barrier is added to your personal information. With a VPN all types of communications can be encrypted. Therefore, using it can prevent your data from Google’s prying eyes.

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The best choice among the VPNs is the NordVPN. It is an app very easy to use and provides the highest protection. Top of else, it has a 7-day free trial for testing.

4. Don’t Use Google Apps:

Whenever you boot-up your Android device, you will see a number of Google apps appeared to be pre-installed like Gmail, Google Calendar to name a few. These apps are free to use. But the moment you use them, they will automatically build your profile.

You can protect this by stop using these apps. The most privacy-conscious individual will not use such apps created by Google such as Gmail, Chrome, Google Calendar etc. A lot of these come pre-installed and non-removable, in this case:

Go to Settings>Apps>select any Google app(s)>hit on Clear Data to delete any personal information being accumulated.

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Similarly, many of the alternative apps to the Google apps are available, you can use them instead.

5. Disable App Backup (Optional):

This is the addition of an extra protection layer to your privacy from Google. Opt Out of automatic device backups!

To stop the backing up of your device’s data:

From your phone’s settings menu>select Backup & Restore>choose option Back up my Data>trun it off.

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This tip is considered optional because of the great convenience Google’s backup service provides. However, this might be an option for a jump in the private pool of your privacy.

Keeping in mind these above tips and implementing them can protect your personal data from being hacked or even copied by any potential threats_Google even.

If you found these above tips helpful, or in case of any query, let us know in the comments below!

Aamir Jamal

An Android Geek and audiophile who love to read and write reviews/tutorials about gadgets and new tech stuff. He has written 1007 guides and other posts.

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