How Dangerous are Location Tracking and Sharing Apps?
Posted: Sep 04, 2018
Nowadays, almost every smartphone and tablet allow users to share their location using GPS. Many prominent apps such as Facebook’s Messenger, Uber, etc., allow users to share their location with their friends, family, colleagues, etc. Some apps such as Google Maps allow users to share their live location for a specific period of time. This feature is amazing. If you are in a busy place and have to meet a friend, then you can just share your location with them so that your friend can find you easily. Also, if you are traveling someplace, then you can share your location with a guardian or a trusted friend for safety purposes. Some cab services allow users to share their ride details and location with others.
But, do you ever wonder if your next Uber pool ride sharer was not a stranger? What if that individual knew where to find you at that particular time? Nowadays, people across the globe use Ube and Lyft for shared cab bookings. They also use Maps and location tracking apps to find their way. This location sharing and tracking applications are a threat to cyber as well as physical security.
Go through the applications installed on your smartphone, and you will notice that a majority of them have location sharing feature. Location sharing can be a significant threat if misused.
Here are some tips you should know
Pick the most appropriate app
Many apps ask for location sharing permissions when you install them. Some gaming apps allow users to send a shout-out when they check in to a specific location. Some apps reveal the live location for a particular duration. But, certain applications keep sharing the location details until the user disables it by going to Settings. Therefore, be careful before giving app permissions and know which app can access your GPS.
Be aware of the privacy options
Applications have different privacy features, and they allow different levels of security settings. Check the application and see how secure it is. Enable two-factor authentication for the app, and keep the privacy to the maximum.
Be wary of strangers
Many social networking platforms allow users to share their location details. If you add strangers on your social networking accounts and share your location, then you are putting yourself at risk. Do not share your location details with virtual strangers. It is best to avoid adding strangers to your personal accounts altogether. However, if you do have strangers in your friend list, then you should share your location with strict privacy settings. Restrict unknown users from seeing your location.
Always be on your toes
Specific applications automatically disable location-sharing after a particular duration. However, some applications never stop location-sharing. You need to go to their app settings and disable it manually. Therefore, keep an eye on your friend lists and people who can see your location. Block or restrict those you are not comfortable sharing your location with.
Is your location share-able?
When you check-in on Facebook or any other platform, can this post be shared by your friend? Keep a check on your post’s privacy settings and make sure that others cannot share it with strangers.
John Smith is a self-professed security expert; he has been making the people aware of the security threats. His passion is to write about Cyber security, cryptography, malware, social engineering, internet and new media. He writes for Norton security products at www.norton.com/setup
Source : Norton.com/setup
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