RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The smartphone is one of the greatest conveniences of modern life, and with the right apps, it can do almost anything.

However, your mobile phone is also collecting very personal data about your activities minute by minute.

Do you ever have the feeling you were being followed?

You look around and there’s no one there, but it turns out, you are being followed electronically because your every movement is being tracked by your smartphone.

Unless you specifically tell it don’t do that – it will keep on tracking you.

“We don’t know how much data they’re collecting on us,” said Raleigh resident Janay Lee.

Where is all this data collection happening?

Apps collect data, social media collects data, and even your iPhone itself knows where you are going and for how long.

“Basically, you can disable that feature,” said Cybersecurity expert Rob Downs, the CEO of Managed IT Solutions in Raleigh.

Here’s how to find what your iPhone is tracking.

In settings go to ”privacy,” find “location services” and scroll down to ”significant locations.”

That brings up a list of everywhere you’ve been.

If you scroll that list, and choose a location, you get more.

Let’s say we pick a location like Apex. You’ll see a map with little blue dots–that’s a graphic representation of your visitation history. There is also a list of locations subdivided by category.

If you pick a location in that list, it tells you even more about what you did there, such as the date you visited, and how you got there either by walking or driving.

Consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia asked Downs if it’s necessary for your iPhone to collect all that data about you.

“Your iPhone doesn’t need to know that,” he said.

However, that data can be useful to some people in certain circumstances.

“I go from place to place and I’m tracking my time and mileage, so it’s a very handy and convenient feature for me to have,” Downs said.

Android phones also track your locations, and that feature can also be disabled. Find out how to do it here.

It’s not just your smartphone spying on you. A lot of apps we use are also tracking all that location information, many for no apparent reason.

“There’s an inordinate amount of surveillance capacity in the apps we use, said cybersecurity expert Jaya Baloo who is the chief information security officer at Avast.

That worries some consumers.

“They keep adding all these things that are tracking your habits,” said Lee.

Apple also collects what it calls “analytics” from your phone about its software, hardware, and services designed for use with Apple products.

You can also disable that. Here’s how:

Once again in settings go to ”privacy.”

Scroll down to ”analytics and improvements.” Choose it, then turn off the button that says ”share iPhone analytics.”

That stops sharing that analytics data with Apple, but it will also stop your phone from sharing data that your iWatch collects, which may make some functions useless.

You can also tell apps whether you want them to track you or not. However, blocking some location tracking may create problems.

“There are some apps that need it to work for basic functionality,” said Baloo. “For example, if you’re using maps they need location services.”

911 emergency calls or weather apps which track severe storms also need the location of your phone in order to work properly.

Our advice from experts, carefully choose what you tell your phone and its apps to track and what not to track.

You also need to be incredibly careful in allowing what permissions your apps ask you to grant.

“Check what apps have access to your camera and what apps have access to your microphone,” said Downs.

Most apps do not need that to function, and you should disable those features on your Apple or Android smartphone because they are just using the microphone or camera to collect more data on you for marketing or other purposes.

Remember with any free app, the price of admission is your data, so carefully guard which bits of data you give away to big tech.