Modern mobile devices use Location Based Services, which are able to detect your exact location. They use the network, GPS or Wi-Fi programmes to do this. LBS are not like some social media programmes which allow you to let people know where you are. LBS are able to do this automatically, whether you want your location known, or not.
This sounds great, but as always, care needs to be taken to protect your privacy.
- Share your personal information wisely. Make certain you share your location with trustworthy friends and family. Information about your location may lead others to criminal activity – such as breaking into your house, because you have publicly posted that you are not at home.
- If you do share, don’t always be precise about your exact location – perhaps just the name of the town, or city.
- Invitations from those you don’t know should be treated with extreme caution. Accept invitations only from reliable friends and family.
- All LBS have settings to allow you to control your privacy. Check them and use them. They include:
- opt in/opt out – messages often flash onto the screen of your mobile device seeking permission to allow LBS,
- you have a choice to stop or temporarily suspend the LBS.
- Check the settings – you should be able to control your location information. Do this on a regular basis.
- Accuracy – control this yourself. The LBS should allow you to manually enter locations, if you wish.
- If your LBS doesn’t provide the privacy and protection you need don’t use it.
- It is not always reliable during emergencies. Don’t assume your close family and friends are safe when you see their location from your device. The service needs to be enabled, and some people don’t allow the automatic features to operate in this way.
- Keep your mobile device safe. Don’t allow others to access it!
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