Disable Internet Explorer 9 geo-locator

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It seems like every day there is something in the news about maintaining your privacy while on the internet.   One extreme is not wanting ANY of your information available to anyone else (which means you pretty much have to not use any electronic devices).  The other end of the spectrum is just throwing it all out there for anyone to know what they want about you.

IE9 privacy


For me, I am somewhere in the middle of those two views.  I don’t think a website needs to know everything about me, but I also am not all that paranoid about keeping every detail private.  I think common sense has a lot to do with it.

That being said, I don’t think a website that I visit needs to know where I am physically located.  You know how on some sites the ads seem to be coincidentally about your city?  From an advertiser’s standpoint, that’s a great advantage – when the ad is more specific to the user’s location, the click-through rate will be higher and the ad will make more money.  I just prefer to not give that information to every site I visit (and I know a good percentage of users feel the same way).

Internet Explorer 9 has a setting that will allow you to enforce that preference.  To turn off Internet Explorer 9 geo-location tracking, first click on the little cogged wheel in the top right corner of the window:

IE9 privacy

In the new menu that pops up, click on Internet Options:

IE9 privacy

In the next window, click on the “Privacy” tab, and then check the box that says, “Never allow websites to request your physical location”.  Then click OK.

IE9 privacy

That’s it!  Enjoy browsing the web with IE9, secure in the knowledge that websites won’t know where you are.

What if you don’t use Internet Explorer 9?  Here are the options for other browsers:

Internet Explorer version 8 or earlier: the solution here is to upgrade to IE9.  It is more secure and overall better than IE8.  If you are still using Windows XP, you don’t have the option of upgrading to IE9 – which is why you should upgrade to Windows 7.

Firefox:  Firefox states that location-aware browsing is always optional in Firefox.  However, to disable the feature permanently, go the address bar and type in: about:config and hit “Enter”.   Now type geo.enabled.  Double-click on the geo.enabled preference.  Location-aware browsing is now disabled.  You can get more information here.

Chrome: Click the wrench (settings) icon in the top right corner, and choose Options.  Click “Under the Hood” on the left side of the page.  Click the button at the top that says “Content Settings”.  Scroll down to the “Location” section, and choose the option you prefer.


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