Something Every Apple User Should Do

April 26th, 2011   Submitted by Paul Rosenberg

It was kind of strange to see the news stories last week on Apple tracking all of their iPad users. The story came in just as I was looking at notes for this article on Apple tracking Mac users.


There is a little-known feature built into Mac operating systems called Location Services. This feature provides a way for websites to locate you (if you let it). Interestingly enough, it also calls home to Apple a few times a day… probably to pinpoint your machine on an Internet map. We’re not sure how far back this feature goes, but it is for sure in Mac OS 10.5 and 10.6.
The good news is that there is an option for shutting it off in version 10.6. If you have an earlier version, I’ll suggest that you use a nifty little program called LittleSnitch to prevent unauthorized outgoing connections.


As I say, the phone-home feature can be turned off under Mac OS 10.6, and here’s how you do it:
1. Click on the Apple symbol at the top-left of your screen.
2. Choose System Preferences
3. Choose Security
4. Choose General
5. Choose Disable Location Services
Once you do that, your machine will stop calling home to Cupertino. But, as I say, you should install LittleSnitch to be sure that neither Apple nor others will abuse you that way.

9 Responses to “Something Every Apple User Should Do”

  1. Eric ShearNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you. I just disabled it on my MacBook.

  2. RyanNo Gravatar says:

    Little Snitch is really frustrating and I’m not seeing the point in using it, if you keep your computer running lean. I’m uninstalling it now.

  3. RyanNo Gravatar says:

    My MacBook Pro w/ 10.5 doesn’t have Location Services settings. huh. I’ll be upgrading to Lion soon though and wonder what kind of security it will have.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      I wouldn’t know because I don’t have a Mac, but Paul mentions that people with OS 10.5 cannot disable the Location Service feature, hence, not having it as a “setting.”

  4. RyanNo Gravatar says:

    Un-installing “Little Snitch” is a serious pain and broke my permissions, too. I knew there was a reason I never installed that program. I suppose it goes without saying, never trust a snitch.

  5. CollegeTimesNo Gravatar says:

    Calling yourself an anarchist while using Apple products proves you are full of shit. Talk about monopolies, criminal groups, and thievery, that is the fucking Apple company in a nutshell.

    If you are interested in writing for our blog, let us know. Regardless of your confused path, we enjoy your perspective. =)

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