How do Advertisers Always Know Your Location?

how do advertiesers always knonw your location

Have you ever wondered how advertisers always seem to know your location, or even the suspicion that someone might be listening to your phone calls? As our lives become increasingly digitized and connected, so does the risk of losing privacy. It’s common knowledge that advertisers and marketing companies gather and store quite a bit of information on online users. From collecting data on user interests and activity to allowing third-party cookies, they have a heap of tools at their disposal.

Advertisers have various ways to track your location and serve you targeted ads. They can use your device’s geolocation features, IP addresses, Bluetooth beacons, and even mobile tower triangulation. In this article, we will explore how advertisers track your location, possible ways someone could listen to your phone calls, and how to protect your privacy using tools like VPN.

Where Do These Advertisers Get the Data From?

There are three primary sources from which advertisers can get your personal information, including your location. They are:

  • The Users Themselves – The truth is, ads get the most information from users themselves. If you ever signed up with a site and shared your city or postal code, you’ve opened the door for them to narrow down your location. With this information, a website can pass down your data to another site and service, which can then combine it with info from other sites and get a more precise location.
  • The Internet Service Provider – Did you ever get a targeted ad when accessing a new site for the first time? This might be because your ISP is selling user information to third-party advertising companies. Selling anonymous browsing logs is a fairly common practice among ISPs. That said, the only way to check this is to reach out to your ISP and require them to provide this information.
  • Search Engines and Apps– This could apply to any app or service that includes geo-location features and can be tied close to some of the biggest tech companies, such as Google, Apple, Facebook, and many others. Their search engines and apps most often collect data from two sources, GPS and Wi-Fi hotspots. They then share this information with advertisers, which display ads that relate specifically to your location.  

How Advertisers Use Your Location Data

Advertisers collect your location data to serve you relevant, targeted ads. They use techniques like cookies, URL trackers, tracking pixels, and even browser fingerprinting to build an advertising profile of you by spying on your browsing habits.

IP Addresses and Geolocation

IP addresses can geo-locate your position and serve you ads. To determine your physical location, advertisers such as Google rely on a small portion of the population sharing their device’s GPS location. The devices will then associate this location with the IP address of your network, such as the coffee shop or office you are currently in.

Location Sharing

One of the simplest ways for advertisers to know your location is through location sharing features on your device, browser, or apps. Many applications have been found to contain third-party code that collects location data, which is later sold to advertisers and even the military.


Cookies are small pieces of code that record your online activity and save it in your browser. They are the most common source of ad tracking, and many sites use the same third-party cookies.

URL Trackers

Tracking URLs are links with little strings of code on the end that track your behavior after you click on them. They log your activity on the site and collect the information for the advertiser.

Tracking Pixels

Tracking pixels are tiny dots (1 x 1 pixels) that can detect whether a certain piece of content was accessed and how it was interacted with. They can help identify your IP address, see if you’ve opened an email, log any attachments you’ve downloaded, and more.

Mobile Tower Triangulation

As you move around, your device is always connected to two or more cell phone towers, so your cell phone provider can always calculate your location. This information can then be sold to advertisers, as major providers have done in the past.

How to Stop Advertisers from Tracking You

Turn Off Location Sharing Settings

While this may seem like a trivial thing to do, most mobile users have location sharing turned on by default. By having this setting on, you’re telling all services, including any third-party advertisers, where you are at all times.

If you want to protect yourself from this, make sure to be thorough and check the setting on all of your devices. Go through your device’s operating system, check which apps and browsers require location sharing, and turn off all of these features. Make sure that your device’s operating system, apps, and browser have all location sharing features turned off. Regularly check your permissions and remove location sharing for apps that you do not use or which you believe do not require location sharing.

Turn Off Bluetooth

Bluetooth beacons and mobile towers are all around us. They use data directly shared by some users through their GPS and mobile phones to determine the physical location of all users connected on the same network.

As you move around your city or travel around the country, these towers are always passing information between each other to calculate your position best. And, even though most cell carriers have said that they will stop selling this data for extra profits, this is still a problem, especially in the US.

Hide Your IP Address

As a VPN service, we regularly advocate the importance of online privacy and security. Protecting your IP address and home network is one of the most crucial things you can do to safeguard your privacy and anonymity. It only takes one time to be negligent with sharing your IP address, and all sites you visit in the future will know your location.

When it comes to protecting your IP address, the two best ways to do it are with a privacy-friendly browser, like Tor, and with a reliable VPN service. By using a Virtual Private Network, you can stay anonymous online and browse the Internet without any concerns that your activity data is being tracked and stored.


“Google would like to know your location” can be very annoying at times while using Safari, but you can easily disable this annoying pop-up by going to Settings > Location Services > Off. You’re free from the Google pop-up ever disturbing you again.

How to Block Listening Devices on Cell Phones

The idea that someone might be listening to your phone calls can be quite unnerving. Our customers had told us many times that someone listening to my phone calls and that’s obviously very stressful. Here are some ways to block listening devices on your cell phone:

  1. Use a reliable security app: Install a trusted security app on your phone that scans for and detects spyware or other malicious software that could be used to intercept your calls.

  2. Regularly update your phone’s software: Keep your phone’s operating system and apps up-to-date, as software updates often include security patches that can fix vulnerabilities.

  3. Be cautious with app permissions: When installing a new app, carefully review the permissions it requests. If an app requires access to your microphone, camera, or other sensitive features, make sure it’s from a trustworthy source.

  4. Use end-to-end encrypted messaging apps: Instead of making regular phone calls, use messaging apps that offer end-to-end encryption, such as Signal. This ensures that your calls are encrypted and cannot be intercepted by third parties.

Why Does My Location Say I’m in a Different State and How to Remove Ad Trackers

There could be several reasons why your location might show that you’re in a different state. It could be due to an error in your device’s location settings, a VPN service that you are using, or even an issue with the website or app. Besides, most of the Internet providers assign you with a dynamic IP address, which means that your IP address can be transfered to someone else and your IP can change from time to time. Some users opt in for a static IP address, which usually costs extra fee. 

To remove ad trackers from your online activities, you can:

  1. Regularly clear your cookies to delete any stored data about your browsing habits.

  2. Use privacy-focused browsers that block trackers and protect your privacy.

  3. Use a VPN like ZoogVPN. Not only does it hide your IP address, but also encrypts your internet connection, making it harder for advertisers and spoofers to track you.

  4. Adjust your device settings: Disable location sharing features on your device, browser, and apps. Also, make sure to configure the settings in Google’s data and privacy section if you’re an Android, Chrome or Gmail user.

Protect Your Privacy with ZoogVPN

ZoogVPN is a privacy-focused VPN service that comes at an extremely reasonable price and offers a free plan, allowing you to mask your IP address, encrypt your internet connection, and protect your privacy online. Key features of ZoogVPN include:

  • Access to servers in multiple countries
  • Military-grade encryption
  • No logs policy
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Support for multiple devices

Getting a ZoogVPN account can help you prevent someone from listening to your phone calls, block geolocation devices, and remove ad trackers from your online activities.

Final Thoughts

In today’s digital world, it’s essential to take proactive steps to protect your privacy and prevent unwanted tracking. By understanding the methods advertisers use to track your location and using tools like VPNs, you can minimize the risk of your personal information being exploited.

The tips we shared with you in this article can go a long way into blocking advertisers from tracking down your location. But, besides implementing these things, make sure to exercise caution everywhere you go. Be mindful of what data you share with websites and try not to overexpose your IP address. Get a VPN today, and secure your sensitive information. Sign up with ZoogVPN and enjoy 10GB or free bandwidth a month for an unlimited period.

Secure your digital identity with ZoogVPN

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