Life has become much simpler in certain respects with the emergence of numerous wonderful apps.
Creations downloaded from the App Store can provide you with entertainment, food, and all kinds of services that are easily accessible at your fingertips.
But are you aware that some of the apps on your phone know everything about your mobile device (and you, by extension)?!
For example, it is quite well-known that most of your go-to apps track location.
But it doesn’t end there, as apps can be designed to track much more than where you are at a given moment.
These apps are built and programmed in order to collect selective data so that the overarching creators can be better served.
In this article, we’ll teach you exactly how to make an app forget your device so that you can stay as safe and as private as possible!
What Do Apps Know About Your Device?
The majority of your apps can track your whereabouts- that’s no secret.
The reason for this is because your device is typically with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week- including when you go to the toilet!
But how are apps able to keep track of every unique device that belongs to countless different individuals?
Let’s address this question!
As we have mentioned before, developers code apps in such a way that they can recognize devices from certain details.
Along with this, there are other ways in which apps are able to find out information regarding your device.
We have listed examples of this below:
Every mobile device contains a unique device ID.
After certain apps are installed, they can capture or record this unique ID. Following this, the app can recall this ID at any time should you attempt to install it again.
Apps are also designed to have a distinctive device token recorded on the server. This token is responsible for sending all app-related notifications or updates to your device.
Your phone creates a unique token when an app is installed, and this token differs between every unique device.
When you install an app, it gains access to the internet. After this, it connects with its servers, where previous installations of the same app are checked by searching for that unique token on the server.
If the token is found, it means that you have already installed that app on your device at some point previously!
Note – Apps are built with a Mobile Attribution SDK such as Apsalar, Google Analytics, Flurry, etc. These primarily help in tracking your phone by recording your device ID as a unique user identifier.
Your account ID can be used to detect any installation or log-in.
In the case of Android devices, the majority of the apps are programmed in such a way that they store the Google account information that is available on your device.
Whereas with iPhones, it is the Apple ID that is mainly used for authentication and identification.
Adding A Folder In The App
The developers of the app may create a dedicated in-app folder with data stored inside.
You will need to manually track this folder on your device and delete it in order to prevent the app from being able to track your phone.
If you do not do this, the app can find this additional data folder after being reinstalled- and as a result, it can easily view a large amount of information about your device.
For example, you may have observed additional files appearing on your device when you install a particular application.
These extra files on your internal or external SD card serve the same purpose as that which is mentioned above.
How do I Make An App Forget Everything?
These days, every piece of data or information is trackable with advanced technology and big data development. There are numerous paid apps that likely track the IMEI number of mobile devices as well.
In fact, all of your internet browsing patterns- including your history and the various conversations you take part in online- are constantly being tracked!
Similarly, multiple installations of an app can be easily recognized. This occurs when the app writes itself in a secret location on your device memory or stores your phone’s IMEI number.
This data is then collected on huge servers. After this, it is usually sold or supplied to Big Data and analytics companies, which then use this information for marketing and advertising purposes.
This means your data is already out there and can never be entirely erased off the internet. The ship has sailed!
Don’t fret, however! There are ways to make apps forget all about you and your device.
If you want to prevent your device from being tracked and thus, force a certain app to forget all of your information, do as follows:
Firstly, ensure that your device has root access so that you can change the device ID.
This allows you to directly make system-level changes to ensure the app forgets all data.
To ensure data protection, it is advised that you do the following:
- Delete the app on your iOS devices.
- After that, delete its configuration profile by navigating to Settings > go to General > go to VPN and Device Management
- Then, select the configuration profile of the app and delete it completely from your device.
- After this, you simply have to restart your device as normal and it should be resolved!
Another way to ensure maximum privacy is to stick to only installing apps that you absolutely need on your device.
It’s recommended that you ensure you are checking the apps that you are about to install and verifying all of the permissions that they require.
If the permissions appear suspicious or seem too intrusive, search for a better app that completes the same task but does not invade your privacy!
A final solution would be to change your Google Account in order to mislead your app and force it to forget your device and all of the data within it.
If all else fails, you may choose to opt for a factory reset as this process deletes all of the data. It also removes the primary device identifier/ID along with it.
Please ensure that you backup all important data before you start the process of a factory reset, as you may otherwise lose your precious files!
Use the below methods to factory reset whichever device you are currently using:
We hope that you’ve found this article on how to make an app forget your device helpful and that it helps you stay safer when it comes to your personal information!
Do you know how to stay safe on your smartphone? Keep yourself protected with our Comprehensive A-Z Of Smartphone Security right HERE!