How to Disable Geolocation in Specific Web Browsers

Geolocation is the identification of your actual geographic location in the real world using information that your computer or cell phone/mobile phone sometimes unknowingly supplies.

The reason for this practise is – as it always is – money. Because there’s money to be made if a company knows what your surfing habits are and how they can couple that knowledge to the place where you live or are at that precise moment in time. These companies can use targeted advertising to offer you free stuff or rebates in a shop near you.

The dangers
The problem is that your (sense of) privacy is being compromised. You may never have given permission to use your address (or somewhere really close) to any unknown online advertising agency. Geolocation can also be misused by certain types of malware. See  this article about AndroidOS.Tapsnake. Plus criminals might use the information to target your house for a burglary. Read an illuminating article  here.

How to check

You can check if the geolocation feature works in your browser by simply visiting Google Maps via an affected browser (see next post). Then click on the white circular button above the ‘scale’ feature on the left. Clicking that button will have Google Maps trying to pinpoint your location. If Google Maps roughly finds where you live, then you might consider disabling that feature. If it doesn’t, then disabling the geolocation feature has worked. This procedure won’t work in Internet Explorer because that browser doesn’t (yet) have geolocation.

Or check  this page.

[01] Apple Safari:
• Goto the ‘Display a menu of Genenal Safari settings’(the little cogwheel on the right of the toolbar)
• Goto ‘Preferences’
• Goto ‘Security’
• Uncheck ‘Allow websites to ask for location information’

[02] Comodo Dragon:
• Goto the ‘Customize and control Comodo Dragon’ icon (the little grey wrench on the top right)
• Goto ‘Options’
• Goto ‘Under the Bonnet’
• Choose ‘Content Settings’
• Choose ‘Location’
• Check ‘Do not allow any site to track my physical location’

[03] Facebook (initially just for the iPhone client):

• Goto Privacy Settings
• Click ‘Custom’
• Click ‘Custom Settings’
• Disable ‘Places I check in’
• Disable ‘People here now’
• Disable ‘Friends can check me in to places’

[04] Flock:
[a] Flock from version 3.0 is based on Google Chrome and therefore needs the same steps to disable geolocation
• Goto the ‘Customize and control Flock icon (the little gray menu-like icon on the top right)
• Follow the steps as described by Google Chrome
[b] Flock up to version 2.6 is based on Mozilla Firefox and therefore needs the same steps to disable geolocation.

[05] Google Chrome:
• Goto the ‘Customize and control Google Chrome’ icon (the little blue wrench on the top right)
• Goto ‘Options’
• Goto ‘Under the Bonnet’
• Choose ‘Content Settings’
• Choose ‘Location’
• Check ‘Do not allow any site to track my physical location’

[06] Google GMail:

GMail has rudimentary geolocation that is in effect a safety feature. It warns you if another user has logged into your account and from where.
• Scroll down on your GMail page until your reach ‘Last account activity: 0 minutes ago on this IP (xx). Details.
• Hit ‘Details’
• Scroll down
• Check ‘Never show an alert for unusual activity’

[07] Google Toolbar:

• Goto the ‘Adjust Toolbar options’ icon (the little blue wrench on the right of the toolbar)
• Goto Tools
• Uncheck ‘My Location’
• Hit ‘Save’

[xx] Internet Explorer:
Internet Explorer does  not have a geolocation feature (yet).

[08] Mozilla Firefox:
• Type ‘about:config’ in the address bar (without the ‘’)
• Discard the warning by hitting ‘yes’
•  [1] Scroll down until you reach ‘geo.enabled’ or you can simply search for ‘geo.enabled’
• Doubleclick the item and it will change from its default value ‘True’ to ‘False’
•  [2] Scroll down until you reach ‘geo.wifi.uri’or you can simply search for ‘geo.wifi.uri’
• Rightclick the value of ‘geo.wifi.uri’ and click ‘Modify’
• Under  Windows type in ‘localhost’ and hit ‘OK’
• Under  Linux leave the box blank (clear if necessary) and hit ‘OK’

[09a] Mozilla Thunderbird (Windows):
• Goto ‘Tools’
• Goto ‘Options’
• Goto ‘Advanced’
• Hit ‘Config Editor’
• Discard the warning by hitting ‘yes’
• Scroll down until you reach ‘geo.enabled’ or you can simply search for ‘geo.enabled’
• Doubleclick the item and it will change from its default value ‘true’ to ‘false’

[09b] Mozilla Thunderbird (Linux):
• Goto ‘Edit’
• Goto ‘Preferences’
• Goto ‘Advanced
• Hit ‘Config Editor’
• Discard the warning by hitting ‘yes’
• Scroll down until you reach ‘geo.enabled’ or you can simply search for ‘geo.enabled’
• Doubleclick the item and it will change from its default value ‘true’ to ‘false’

[10] Opera:
• Type ‘about:config’ in the address bar (without the ‘’)
• Scroll down until you reach ‘geolocation’
• Uncheck ‘Enable geolocation’
• Hit ‘Save’

[11] Pale Moon:
Pale Moon is based on Mozilla Firefox and therefore needs the same steps to disable geolocation.

[12] Twitter:
Twitter has its Geolocation feature  unchecked by design. As it should be.
• Goto Settings
• Check if ‘Tweet Location’ [ ] ’Add a location to your tweets’ is unchecked

Source – http://no-geolocation.blogspot.com/

 


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  • http://Website Tamaresque

    With chrome, for some reason my ‘under the bonnet’ is ‘under the hood’ even though I’m in AUS and my preferred language is UK English. :-)

  • http://Website Tamaresque

    Good, clear instructions. Thanks for that; it took me into an area of my computer I knew nothing about.

  • http://www.spineworks.eu Ian Jarvis

    I am a UK chap and was recently in Bhopal, India for 3 months and the BBC iplayer would not allow me to play TV though it was fine with BBC radio.
    Will doing this (I use Firefox) prevent that and in effect enable me to watch BBC TV via iplayer when I next go to India.
    And search engine s/w started targeting results to Madyar Pradesh, India when what I wanted was UK or worldwide.
    I saw a TED talk about such targeting and it is something of which we should all be aware.
    Thanks for the info. and the site.

  • http://www.springhill-photography.com Andy

    I am using Firefox and disabled geo.enabled but do NOT have geo.wifi.uri

    Under geo its the only thing that is there and doing a search does not bring up the .wifi.

    Is that normal? Will it still work?

    Thanks in advance,
    Andy

  • http://Website Ojr

    firefox in yahoo local news never knows what city I am in until I log on but other sites seem to pin point me without logging on

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