Tech Q&A: Locating your phone, Facebook ad tracking, eBooks and more

Tech Q&A Locating your phone, Facebook ad tracking, eBooks and more

Find the exact location of any phone

Q. I don’t like the government or some company using my phone to track where I go. Will turning off the GPS be enough to keep me off the radar?

A. GPS isn’t the only way someone can track your phone. The way your cell provider tracks you is through cellular towers. It knows what towers are in range of your phone and, of course, it knows where the towers are located. From there it doesn’t take much work to narrow down your general location. The accuracy depends on the provider and how many towers are nearby. Advertising companies, app developers and others can access this system for a price. One company offers a free demo. Try it on your own phone. Click here to find the exact location of any phone.

Stop Facebook ad tracking

Q. I was recently shoe shopping online and saw a pair of boots so ugly that I had to click on them. Since then, ads for those boots have been following me on Facebook and every site I visit. I used to think ad tracking was creepy, but now it’s just annoying. Help!

A. Facebook and about 175 other major companies are part of the Digital Advertising Alliance. That means they play by the same rules when it comes to respecting consumer choice. You can use a tool on the DAA’s website to opt out of “online behavioral advertising” and make those ugly books disappear for good. Click here to scan and remove targeted ads from your computer.




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