Disabling Geolocation

In a recent article about the DuckDuckGo search engine, I wrote about search leakage.  Many programs leak your location. Internet Explorer does not have a geolocation feature yet, but Firefox and its associated email program do.  Here is how to disable this annoying feature that may reveal that you are investigating a person or  company by your visits to their websites.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure-out that if he defrauded somebody in Toronto that web site visits from someone in Toronto might mean he is being investigated.

To test your browser, first go to this site, then make the changes below and revisit it to see the difference.

Firefox

• Type ‘about:config’ in the address bar without the ‘ ’
• Discard the warning by hitting ‘yes
•Scroll down until you reach ‘geo.enabled’ or you can simply search for ‘geo.enabled
• Doubleclick the item and it will change from its default value ‘True’ to ‘False
• Scroll down until you reach ‘geo.wifi.uri’or you can simply search for ‘geo.wifi.uri
• Rightclick the Value of ‘geo.wifi.uri’ and click ‘Modify
• Type in ‘localhost’ and hit ‘OK’

Thunderbird

• Goto ‘Tools
• Goto ‘Options
• Goto ‘Advanced
• Hit ‘Config Editor’ on the General tab
• Discard the warning by hitting ‘yes
• Scroll down until you reach ‘geo.enabled’ or you can simply search for ‘geo.enabled
• Doubleclick the item and it will change from its default value ‘true’ to ‘false

Search Engine Results

Doing a test search in Bing and Google revealed that turning off the geolocation feature changes the results rather dramatically.  All the search results in my test search went from Canada-centric before turning off the geolocation to U.S.-centric after it was turned off.

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