The New York Times is running an informative — and, at times, alarming — article about the marketplace of location data is collected — and sometimes sold — by smartphone apps. If you read it, the first thing you may want to do is turn off from your mobile phone anything related to Global Positioning Satellites (GPS). However, while we suggest that small business should take steps to protect your privacy and security online — it is location services that serve as the foundation of the data that helps people find your shop or restaurant, often for free. And we also will remind you that the New York Times has run many previous articles about the benefits of location recognition technology.

“More than 1,000 popular apps contain location-sharing code from such companies, according to 2018 data from MightySignal, a mobile analysis firm. Google’s Android system was found to have about 1,200 apps with such code, compared with about 200 on Apple’s iOS.”

Ways small businesses benefit from people using location awareness features

Below, we have links to ways you can turn off the location services on a mobile app — but don’t forget about some of the helpful ways GPS in a mobile device can help you, your customers and your business.

Here are just a few.

  • Location data helps potential customers and diners find your restaurant, shop or store if a customer using services like Yelp or Google My Business
  • Location data helps your delivery provider find directions to customers quickly and (most of the time) accurately.
  • There are even lifesaving uses of GPS when you use it as part of your disaster planning kit.

How to turn off or turn down location tracking devices

If you want to turn-down or shut-off the location features on your mobile devices, here are some “how-tos” that will show you how.:

The New York Times | How to Stop Apps From Tracking Your Location

Apple | Turn Location Services and GPS on or off on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Google | Manage your Android device’s location settings