Telegram touts itself as a secure platform that doesn’t share your data with third parties or sell it to corporations. But does Telegram secure your location data the same way it does other information?
Today, we’ll look at how Telegram can track your location and what you can do to limit or prevent this access. We’ll also explore other secure options you can try out today if you’re unsure about Telegram.
Can Telegram Track Your Location?
Yes. Telegram can track your location.
There’s three ways this happens:
Telegram tracks your activities when you turn on the location feature within the app. Since you’ve granted it permission to track you, it will use the location service on your device automatically.
Location Services and GPS
Another way Telegram tracks you is if you turn on your location services on or switch on your GPS. Since the Android OS can already track you this way, Telegram can access that data.
Live Location Feature
Besides that, the most common way Telegram keeps track of your location is if you use its Live location feature.
Once turned on, you give Telegram permission to access your location information and share it with the people you choose.
You can share your location within a chat. Once you set it up, you can choose how long you want Telegram to track and share your location.
Want to use Telegram Live Location? Here are the steps you need to take:
- Open up the Telegram app and tap on the Chat thread on the message composer box.
- Click on the attachment button
- Select Location
- Click Send My Current Location for Telegram to triangulate your current location.
- Tap Share My Live Location to share your location with your family and friends.
- Choose OK after you’ve read through the system notification disclaimer. Read and understand the information you receive on the permission disclaimer before allowing Telegram to access your location.
- Select how long you’d like Telegram to share your live location.
- Tap share
Telegram allows you to revoke access to your location. Here’s how to go about that:
- To the right corner of the Live Location notification within the chat, click the X icon
- Now, tap Stop
Once done, Telegram can no longer access or share your location.
See what can Telegram do without an internet connection.
Does Telegram Show Your Location?
Telegram shows your location to other users once you share your live location.
The Live location feature lets you share your location with family, friends, and contacts. Once they tap on the shared location, Telegram helps them track you down to your exact location.
Also, Telegram allows them to set up notifications for when you’re within a particular geographical area.
Another benefit your friends and family will enjoy includes knowing the distance you covered, seeing you on the map and the direction you’re headed in.
Can Someone Track You Through Telegram?
Yes, it’s possible for someone to track you on Telegram.
When you turn on the People Nearby feature, anyone within your vicinity can track you. Even though this feature only shows the distance between you and other users, it gives you (or them) the ability to estimate your exact location.
It’s not as simple to execute, however. Someone has to have a GPS hacking tool or move around to triangulate your position. After that, all they can do is enter coordinates into the mapping tool and get your exact address.
For this reason, Telegram has safety recommendations on how you should use the People Nearby feature. If you have serious concerns about your personal safety, use this feature with extreme caution.
How To Hide Your Location on Telegram?
You can hide your location by taking the following actions:
You can do it by denying telegram permission to access your location. Also, turn off your GPS and your location services in your phone settings.
Every time Telegram receives updates, it will request you for permission to access your location. Ensure you deny that request each time.
To hide your location even further, you can download a fake GPS app from the Google Play Store and install it on your smartphone.
Unlike iPhones, you can use this app to fake your location on your android phone. You’ll not only hide your current location, but you’ll also fool Telegram.
Once you install the fake GPS app, here’s what you can do next:
- Enable developer mode in your settings. Follow the steps below to do that.
- Go to your phone settings
- Tap on About Phone
- Find the build number of your phone.
- Tap on it seven times to enable Developer Mode
- Once you have access to Developer Mode, go to select mock location
- Under Mock Location, select the Fake GPS app you installed earlier.
- Open the fake GPS app and choose your preferred mock location
- Tap on the set location to make this location default.
Now, your phone will show a fake location as your current location, hiding your actual location.
Does Telegram Hide IP Addresses
Telegram hides your IP address.
There are several ways to do this. Download and install any VPN app on your phone. Once you set it up and run it, your VPN app hides your location and IP address from your network and other Telegram users.
You can also use Telegram within the Tor Browser app. Whenever you launch the Telegram app, it switches to VPN mode instantly, hiding your IP address.
Apart from that, Telegram has settings that allow you to hide your IP.
- Go to Telegram’s Settings
- Tap on Privacy and Security
- Choose the Voice Calls option
- Under that, select Peer-To-Peer
- Here, choose Never or Nobody to deny people from accessing your IP address.
Doing this makes Telegram reroute all your calls via their servers. Although this sometimes hurts audio quality, it enhances your IP address security.
Can You Track Someone’s Location?
Yes, you can.
With Telegram, it’s possible to track someone using the following methods:
- People Nearby Feature
- Live location Feature
You can read more about how these features work above this section.
What Alternatives That Don’t Track Location
Many social messaging apps will track your location. Some even require location permissions to work on your device. But there are some exceptions. Here they are:
Signal is a multi-platform instant messaging app that uses centralized encryption to protect your data.
You can use Signal to send individual and group messages. You can also share files, voice notes, images, and videos.
Signal uses your normal cellular numbers as an identifier and secures all communications.] on their platform.
Unlike Telegram, Signal doesn’t share your live location. No one can track you in real-time.
Signal is open-source and uses end-to-end encryption to secure your communication with other Signal users. It also doesn’t store your conversations, documents or data in the cloud like other messaging apps. Signal does not support ads, affiliate marketing and user tracking.
Threema is another instant messenger that comes default with end-to-end encryption. Threema assures you that no third-party or even server operators can decode your messages.
Creating a Threema account does not require you to submit your email address or phone number, keeping your identity secure.
Instead, Threema generates a unique ID which then serves as your identifier. This ID uses a unique sequence of characters that makes you virtually anonymous in their systems and makes it difficult for someone to track you.
Many large corporations and small firms already use this app as an essential tool in daily work activities. Threema isn’t freeware, but you pay only once for access.
Element is another secure messaging app that supports unlimited calls and video. They do not require your phone number when setting up. So, you don’t share your details with other users. Conversations with Element always stay secure, with an end-to-end encryption feature.
While using Element, you won’t encounter ads, tracking, or data mining. Since Element works with all Matrix-based apps, you won’t have to switch apps when conversing with a user on a different app.
A reasonable monthly subscription of $5 gets you Element One, which brings WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram together under one app.
While Telegram can track your location, it does not reveal your location to other users automatically. Instead, share your live location with other users for them to see where you are.
You can revoke access to your live location at any time. To prevent any further risk of tracking, you can also revoke location permissions for your Telegram app and disable your location services or GPS.
You can also use a VPN, Tor Browser or fake GPS app to hide your IP address from prying eyes.
If you want complete anonymity, you can opt for more secure services, including Signal, Element or Threema.