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Your Wi-Fi history is probably being broadcast by your Android phone

If you don’t want your Wi-Fi history open for all to see, it’s an easy fix.

Android Wifi

Wifi Signal

If you have an Android that’s less than three years old, it’s possible you could be broadcasting your WiFi history.

A recent investigation  by the Electric Frontier Foundation traced this problem back to a feature called Preferred Network Offload (PNO).

As the phone searches for a WiFi signal, the PNO will send out a list of  networks the phone was previously connected to, even when the phone is in sleep mode. This is all done periodically.

recent wifi connections

The Solution:

If you’re looking to stop these invasive broadcasts, it’s easy to fix:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap WiFi
  3. Hit Advanced Settings
  4. Then disable “Keep Wi-Fi on During Sleep” (NB: you might see a slight increase in your data and power usage)

WiFi advanced setting screen shot

“EFF has asked Google to address the data leak at an OS level, but it doesn’t seem likely. ‘Since changes to this behavior would potentially affect user connectivity to hidden access points, we are still investigating what changes are appropriate for a future release,’ the company said in response,” according to The Verge.

I don’t know about you, but I switched mine off.  I don’t need anyone seeing my Wi-Fi history; there’s enough of my data out there, already.

H/T The Verge

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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