How to Make Your Phone Impossible to Track (Android & iPhone)

Take a minute to think about how much personal information you hold on your phone. A lot, right? You’re not the only person who knows that, because you’re not the only one with access to your information. Almost every large corporation – and many smaller ones you probably don’t even know about – tracks you in one way or another.

Your frequently visited locations, browsing history, email address, and even private messages – your phone provides a whole load of valuable data organizations can track every day.

So what can you do about it? It’s not always easy in this digital world, but we’ve come up with nine simple tips that can help you if you’re wondering how to make your phone impossible to track. Well, not totally impossible, but almost.

Note: VPNs can’t provide complete and total anonymity. That’s why it’s important to go the extra mile to protect yourself on phones, computers, and other internet-connected devices.

How to Make Your Phone Almost Impossible to Track

Using a premium VPN goes a long way to safeguarding your privacy.  A VPN encrypts your connection and conceals your data, limiting what others can see about you online. You can use CyberGhost VPN to protect yourself from unwanted snoopers, using powerful encryption to mask your phone activity. That way, you can keep your data where it belongs – in your hands. Remember, though, a VPN can’t provide total anonymity. That’s why it’s important to go the extra mile on your phone and other internet-connected devices to safeguard your data.

On iPhone

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Privacy
  3. Select Tracking
  4. Toggle Allow Apps to Request to Track off

On Android

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Locations
  3. Choose App Locations Permissions
  4. Select each app individually and change permissions based on what you feel comfortable sharing

Keep in mind that the exact steps might depend on your manufacturer and OS version, and that disabling too many permissions might make some apps unusable. For example, you won’t be able to use any ride-sharing apps if your location is disabled.

Who Are We Hiding From?

The truth is, just about everyone is tracking you and your information online. They’re usually either a cybercriminal, part of a government corporation, or an advertiser. Let’s look more closely at how they use tracking. 

💻 Advertisers

Advertisers use cookies, script trackers, browser fingerprinting, and other data-harvesting tactics to get your info and log data like your search history and location. 


Apps use Location Services on your phone to track your location. They also use cookies to track your habits, even if you’re not using the app. They can share this with other third parties for advertising. 


Cybercriminals lurk on unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots to spy on you.  They use tactics like cookie hijacking and man-in-the-middle attacks to steal your information.  This includes everything from your browsing history to your credit card details. 

👮🏼Government agencies

Governments usually gather data from ISPs to snoop on your search history and location. Some governments even use spyware to infiltrate your device to collect information and access apps like your camera or microphone.

Can a SIM Card Be Tracked?

Yes. SIM cards connect to nearby signal towers for you to receive calls, use the internet, and send SMS texts, but that signal can also be used to find your location. There are other ways too. If someone knows the SIM card’s unique ICCID number, they can look this up to find your location. They can also look up the phone number associated with the SIM card to see where you are.

Let’s not forget about cybercriminals. They can use a technique called SIM swapping to hack your SIM card without ever physically accessing your phone. They trick your network provider into sending texts and calls to the cybercriminal, rather than your phone. They can then attempt to bypass two-factor authentication checks, because they’re receiving texts with codes, not you. This means they can get access to your sensitive accounts, like online banking and potentially steal money from you. ,

It all sounds bad, but what can you do? The best thing you can do is be careful about sharing your number online. If someone knows your number, they can use this to find your location and track your phone. 

To avoid SIM swaps, try to avoid setting up authentication checks that rely on text messages or phone calls. Make sure any PIN codes and passwords you use aren’t easy to guess. Together, this will make it harder for a cybercriminal to get around authentication, even if they have your inbox and call list to hand. You can also ask your carrier to set up alerts if a SIM card is reissued on your account, so you can spot any suspicious activity. 

Can You Make Your Phone Impossible to Track?

No. There’s no way to make your phone completely impossible to track. Unfortunately, owning and using a phone means you’re going to be tracked in some way, somehow. 

Just turning your phone on is enough to track you. You have some control, such as within apps and choosing whether to share your location, but this isn’t enough to disable tracking completely. You can’t turn off website trackers, carrier tracking, phone manufacturer monitoring, Wi-Fi network trackers, or GPS functions. You also can’t stop your SIM card from pinging a cell tower. That’s impossible. What you can do, though, is take steps to limit tracking and protect your data. We’ll show you how.

9 Simple Tips to Protect Your Data Once and For All

The deck may be stacked against you, but you can still defend yourself and make your phone almost impossible to track.  Here are nine simple tips to help you.

1. Encrypt Your Data with CyberGhost VPN

Use CyberGhost VPN to encrypt your traffic and reroute it through a secure, remote tunnel. This masks your data and helps create a more private web browsing experience, so prying eyes can’t easily track and hijack your online activity. With a VPN enabled, malicious actors, government agencies, your ISP, and other third parties can’t monitor your phone’s traffic any more. 

CyberGhost VPN also helps you conceal your location, changing your IP address to another when you connect to a VPN server. This masks your real location, so websites tracking you can only see the VPN server’s IP address, not your actual IP address. Any information you share online, like your browsing searchers, can only be linked to the VPN IP address while you’re connected.

You can use CyberGhost VPN to protect up to 7 devices simultaneously, so you can thwart tracking attempts on your phone, PC, gaming console, and even smart TV. It’s risk-free to try, with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

2. Secure Your Phone

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, and it’s probably one of the most important. Make sure you lock your phone whenever you’re not using it. This will stop unauthorized snoopers from bypassing your lock screen code and getting into your phone. It’ll also prevent them from installing spyware onto your device, which they could then use to track your information and snoop on apps like your camera.

3. Check App Permissions

Apps often ask to track your location and other activities. Some even request access to your microphone and camera, even if you don’t need to use either of these for the app. Unfortunately, that means these apps can track you and see what you’re up to.

Go through your apps and delete any you no longer use. For any remaining apps,  check the permissions, and only share what you really need to. Remember to check the Find My feature too to see who has access to your location.

 To alter app permissions on your phone, follow these steps:

Disable App Permissions on iPhone

  1. Open Settings and find the app you’re looking for.
  2. Tap on the app name to see what permissions you allow.
  3. Tap the toggle switch to turn off specific permissions, such as microphone, mobile data, and camera.
  4. Select Location, then Never to disable location tracking.
  5. If you see an option for Allow Tracking, click the toggle to disable all tracking. 

Disable App Permissions on Android

  1. Open Settings and find the app you’re looking for.
  2. Tap Apps, then select the specific app you want to manage.
  3. Click Permissions to see whether they’re allowed.
  4. Disable any app permissions by clicking Deny.

4. Turn Off Location Services

Location Services can show anyone snooping where you are. Your phone keeps tabs on where you go and your frequently visited places – like your home address, work, and the gym. Third parties can then use this information to send you targeted ads and emails. Cybercriminals can also use your Location Services information to track you down, leaving you vulnerable to attacks like doxxing. 

Turning off Location Services stops you from revealing your location. It disables location sharing for all apps. Remember, though, apps that rely on  Location Services (such as Maps) to work might not function correctly.

To disable Location Services on iPhone, head to your Settings and switch the toggle next to Turn Off under Location Services. For Android, open Settings, select Personal, then look for location settings to turn them off.

5. Use a Private Browser

Private browsers l prevent tracking and logging by letting you surf the web more anonymously. Not all browsers offer good security and user-friendly features, though. Some are no better than more common  data-hungry browsers when it comes to tracking information. To help you, look for features like:

  • 🎯 Built-in ad-blocker
  • 🎯 Built-in tracker blocker
  • 🎯 Browser fingerprinting protection
  • 🎯 Open-source code
  • 🎯 Automated cookie and cache removal
  • 🎯 Biometric bookmark security

6. Use a Private Search Engine

To protect yourself from search engine tracking, you need to use a privacy-friendly search engine. These won’t track, store, or sell your information. They also keep your searches more anonymous. Just be aware that, without a data-analyzing algorithm, your results might not always be as accurate as you’d want. 

7. Clear Your Browser History and Cookies

Cookies are small blocks of data websites use to store and retrieve information locally on your device. Cookies usually pertain to your browsing sessions, and are responsible for customizing your experience and remembering your preferences. They contain information such as your personal information, location, email addresses, IP address, browser or device language, and time spent on the site.

If you’re on a PC, you can use the CyberGhost Cookie Cleaner to clear your browsing history and cache with just a few clicks. Browsers on mobile aren’t compatible with extensions, so you’ll have to delete your cookies manually. The exact steps depend on the browser you’re using, but you should generally look under Settings and History for a Clear Cookies or Clear Cache option.

8. Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Free internet is nice, but it’s the not-password-protected part you should worry about. Since they often lack strong security settings to make it easier for everyone to connect, public Wi-Fi networks aren’t safe. Cybercriminals use them to track your traffic or secretly install malware on your device.

The most logical advice would be to completely avoid public networks, but we know it’s not feasible in this day and age. What you can do, though, is encrypt your connection with a VPN to protect yourself. 

You can use CyberGhost VPN to encrypt your traffic and keep snoopers away from your data on public Wi-Fi hotspots. Our strong VPN encryption protects your connection before it leaves your device, making it impossible for anyone else on the network to see what you’re doing.

9. Switch On Airplane Mode

Airplane Mode has more uses than you might think. Turning it on disables Bluetooth, Location Services, Wi-Fi, and cellular data. All of these can be used to track you and your whereabouts. 

The downside is, enabling Airplane Mode means you can’t make calls, send messages, or browse online (unless you connect to Wi-Fi). That means it’s not a great option most of the time, but when you’re not using your phone it’s worth it to protect your privacy. To turn it on, simply head to your Settings and turn on the toggle to activate Airplane Mode. 

How to See If Your Phone Is Being Tracked with Spyware

You’ll know if an app is tracking you because your phone will tell you. For example, on iPhone, an arrow near the battery icon shows you that Location Services is turned on. Spyware is different. You often won’t know it’s running in the background. Some signs to look out for include:

    • Quick battery drain: Sharing your location and other trackable data is resource-heavy on your phone, which can cause the battery to drain quicker. 
    • Overheating: It’s not unusual for your phone to get hot, especially if you’re doing something data-intensive like watching a video. But watch out for excessively hot phones, even when you’re doing something minimal. It could mean someone else has access to your device, or there’s spyware running in the background.
    • High data usage: Using lots of data is a telltale sign that you’re being tracked. Location Services drains your data and battery to keep sharing your whereabouts with apps. 
    • Slow running phone: If your phone is running slow, it could mean there’s a virus on the device. It might also indicate spyware or malware are running in the background, or someone has remote access to your device. You can run an antivirus check to detect spyware or malware on your phone,
    • Unexpected restarts: Hackers can often force your phone to restart when they’re installing trackers. If your phone restarts unexpectedly, be wary. Run a virus scan to be sure there’s nothing untoward on your device.

Stop Tracking, Protect Your Privacy

If there’s one thing we know about tracking, it’s this: it’s invasive. Whether it’s a government official, your search engine, or a cybercriminal, people want to get their hands on your data. They all know your phone is the best way to get it. 

You won’t find a 100% guaranteed method to permanently disable tracking attempts on your phone. That said, you can take steps to mitigate the amount of tracking, and protect your data from invasive practices. 

Turning off Location Services, reviewing app permissions, and avoiding public Wi-Fi are all ways to help limit tracking. Although the best way to stop tracking is with a VPN. A VPN encrypts your traffic and masks your IP address with another to conceal your location and traffic from snoopers. You can download CyberGhost VPN to block trackers and stop third parties from spying on your online activity.



How do I stop my phone from being tracked?

It’s not possible to completely put a stop to tracking, but you can take steps to mitigate the data you’re generating. Your IP address, GPS coordinates, SIM card data, and Location Services are all gateways to your data and your location. You can use CyberGhost VPN to encrypt your online traffic and stop others from tracking your activity. You should also clear your browsing history and cookies, and avoid services collecting lots of data.

Can a SIM card be tracked?

Yes, a SIM card can be tracked. SIM cards connect to nearby cellular network towers so you can use your data, send text messages, and receive calls. These cellular towers can also reveal your location. This makes it easy for someone to find out where you are.

Will removing my SIM card stop tracking?

No. A phone can still be tracked without a SIM card. Features like Find My Phone still work without a SIM card, and these can reveal your whereabouts. If you use the phone to connect to Wi-Fi, you can surf the web as normal, regardless of whether you have a SIM card or not. That means you can still be tracked like normal with on-site trackers, cookies, and everything else.

Can my phone be tracked if my location is off?

Yes, your phone can still be tracked with Location Services off. Location Services are a way for apps to pull your GPS data and pinpoint your location. It’s how Google Maps or food delivery apps know where you are. Turning location services off simply means apps can no longer access this data, not that the GPS signal is offline.

Can someone track my location with my phone number?

Yes. By itself, a phone number isn’t usually enough to reveal your exact location. That said, If someone knows your phone number they can look it up and see which cell towers your SIM card connects to. They can then use this to work out your approximate location. Spies can also use your phone number alongside other information, like your IP address, to identify your location and other personal details.

How do I know if someone is tracking my location?

You can see which apps are tracking your location by opening your phone’s settings. You can usually alter these permissions yourself. If someone is tracking your location for malicious purposes using spyware or malware, it can be harder to identify. Tell-tale signs include battery drain, high data usage, overheating devices, and unexpected restarts. Cybercriminals using spyware or malware are often tracking much more than your location though. They can spy on your entire device, snooping on your sensitive information including messages, emails, and bank accounts.

Can a phone be tracked after a factory reset?

Yes. A factory reset will remove certain location-based tracking, such as the Find My Phone feature. If the phone has a SIM card, it can still be tracked by seeing which cell towers it pings or by looking up the phone number. If you begin to reinstall apps and log into accounts, you can still be tracked as you were before too.

Can a phone be tracked if the IMEI is changed?

Changing the IMEI number of a phone doesn’t stop tracking. Your SIM card, connected cell tower information, and app GPS data can still be used to track your phone.

Can you fake GPS location on your phone?

Android and iOS phones don’t have settings that let you spoof your real location. Without your correct GPS information, many apps, including ride sharing, dating, and food delivery services, won’t work properly. That’s why no manufacturer makes it easy to play around with location settings.
Some third-party services work as GPS spoofers, but keep in mind they’re illegal in some countries. Besides that, they don’t hide your IP address, so services can still pinpoint your real location.

Leave a comment

Glad to hear you enjoyed reading!


Hey verʏ interesting blog!


Hi Geminid, thanks for reading!

You show how to lock your SIM card… but only for Android.
For the other devices… you don’t tell anything about “lock”.


Hi Caroll. Scroll below the Android settings and you’ll find steps for iPhones and iPads too. Hope this helps!

Dude this has got to be the most convenient an interesting an all information article iv ever read in my life on all topics of staying safe and tracking and the little things each site agency are company uses to keep up with any one of us. Beautiful I love it learned so much more then anything iv read so far wonderful just damn wonderful 👍👍👍👍👍👍


We’re so happy to hear that, Justin. Thanks for reading!

Thanks a lot for sharing this


Glad to hear you enjoyed reading, Ghostie.

It’s the most informative content. I am reading your content with enjoyment. I see in this article more information on tracking mobile apps. I love your content.
Thanks a lot for sharing this.


Very informative
thanks a lot!


Thanks for reading, Jaden!

I already have VPN on my phone but I think I will change it to yours.
It has s lot more to offer . Mind blowing stuff and frightening at the same time.


Thank you for your kind words, Maureen. We’re happy to hear you chose CyberGhost VPN!

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Can a vpn be put on a car

Hi Hadenough. We don’t guarantee CyberGhost VPN will operate as intended on a car system. You can still use CyberGhost VPN on your iOS and Android phone, and connect your phone to CarPlay or Android Auto.
For more information pertaining to your exact setup, contact our 24/7 Customer Support team.

I have been examinating out many of your posts and I can state clever stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your blog.


Glad to hear you enjoyed reading, Rubi! 😊

Yes Tom T.Y. Very Informative & helpful


Very interesting


A good informative article i found after a long time. Thank you for sharing this article.


No problem, Tiya. 🙂

I’m glad you found it helpful!

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