So the main question here is weather website can track or see your location? and if so, How can you hide it?
You might be wondering whether websites can really just track your location at any given moment. The answer is probably “yes”.
The most basic way of identifying you is by your IP address. Your IP address identifies you on the Internet. If you think you’re browsing the web in the safety and privacy of your own home, re-think about it again. The websites you visit know where you are located in the world – and it’s not just your IP address giving it away.
How websites use your IP address To Know Your Location
The internet knows exactly where you are unless you’ve taken steps to fake your GPS or online location by using a VPN or location spoofing for example. If not, then your browser probably leaks a massive amount of information about you.
Every web user has an IP address – it’s given to you by your internet service provider, and every device on your home network shares the same unique IP address.
Pro tip: To find your IP address, simply Google ‘my ip.’
When you access a website, that website can see your IP address. Your computer can also see the website’s IP address.
What can a website deduce from your IP address?
Have you ever wondered how browsers always seem to know your location? You’ve probably noticed that many websites display your location on their homepage, indicating that they know (exactly) where you are.
it can connect your IP address to several identifying factors, including your:
- Internet service provider
- In some cases, postcode
Websites can use this information to serve you ads for local businesses.
Some websites ask for more information
Ever been browsing the web and noticed a pop-up asking for permission to share your location with a website? It’s a pretty common occurrence – maps, weather websites, and eCommerce stores often ask for your location.
If you’d like to check which websites you’ve given location permissions to, head to your browser’s settings. In Chrome, for example, navigate to the Menu, click Settings, Site Settings, and Location.
How websites access your precise location without your permission
This is where things get a little creepy.
Let’s say you access a website via your computer that we’ll call Website-A. Website-A asks for your precise location, and you allow it. Website-A then connects your location to your home network’s unique IP address.
Now, let’s say you visit Website-A on your phone while at home. It asks for your location, and this time, you deny it. But Website-A already knows that your IP address – which is shared by both your computer and phone – is connected to your precise location.
Worse yet, let’s say you visit Website-B, which has purchased user data from Website-A. You deny Website-B access to your location, but again, they can cross-reference your IP address and determine your address that way.
There’s no knowing how many companies are using this tactic to identify web visitors’ exact locations without permission. Still, it’s something you should be aware of – especially when it comes to targeted advertising.
What’s the way forward? Using a VPN to hide your location
If you want to hide your location online, a virtual private network (VPN) is the answer. A VPN renders your activity on the internet much more anonymous and ensures you won’t have to worry about the settings of your browser or PC. When you visit a website via a VPN, you connect to a VPN server, and the VPN server connects to the website. The website sees the VPN’s IP address – not yours.
Pro tip: If you give a website permission to access your location while using a VPN, it might be able to deduce your real physical location using GPS and nearby Wi-Fi networks. VPNs only work when a website relies on your IP address to determine where you are in the world.