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Everybody Might Just Know Where YOU Are

By on August 2, 2016
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Using your cell phone over Summer, dumb question right? Everyone is, your kids? Definitely. Here’s some security information that is really important to know.

According to about.com here are 5 Ways You Might Be Sharing Your Location Without Knowing It

Our cell phones can pinpoint our locations, record and track our location history, and relay location data to apps for many different purposes. Some of the ways our location information is shared is obvious to us, but sometimes we may not even realize that we are providing this information.

1. Geotagged Pictures

When you first set up your phone, your camera app probably asked if it was ok to record the location of the pictures you took with the app, you probably said yes and moved on. The setting was made and ever since then, the camera app has been recording your GPS location in the metadata of the pictures you take.

We often forget that this data is recorded because it doesn’t actually show up in the picture itself, but is part of the picture file in the form of metadata that can be read and extracted by apps such as Facebook to help with location tagging and other features that rely on geotags. You can also view this data with a EXIF metadata reader app (bad guys can do this as well.

2. Facebook

Facebook has many features that leverage location data to make them work. One of the newer features called “Nearby Friends” can relay your location to your friends to help them locate you when you’re out and about in the real world.

You can choose to share your location with someone for an hour, a day, or even indefinitely.

Facebook also may share your location when you tag yourself at different places, such as in a status update or a photo tag. When others tag you in a post, they could inadvertently be giving out, not only their location, but yours as well.

This could be dangerous depending on the audience of the post. You might not want everyone in the world to know that you are with a friend on vacation as thieves might use this knowledge to their advantage and come rob your home while you are away.

3. Twitter

Depending on how you set up your twitter account, there is a chance you could be tweeting your location when you post a tweet. If you ever used the Tweet location feature in the past, then subsequent tweets you made could still be relaying your location, unless you shut the feature off.

4. iMessage and Other Messaging Apps

Message apps such as iMessage might also be relaying your location when you send a message. It’s possible that if someone got a hold of your phone without you knowing it, they could have added themselves to the share location feature and set it to “share indefinitely” thus putting you on a digital leash, allowing them to know your location full time.

You can check to see if you are sharing your location with anyone by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Share My Location and reviewing the list of contacts you are sharing your location with.

5. Dating Apps

Dating apps such as OKCupid, Tinder, and Plenty of Fish rely on location information in order to help find matches in your local area. Some of these apps may even provide frequent or near real-time location updates. This could be risky, consider turning off location services for these apps unless you are willing to accept the potential risks.

Hmmmm, this virtual world were gradually slipping into living in. Dangerous.

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