Mobile smartphones can be incredibly useful. From built in maps to mobile internet and games, it seems that there’s an app for everything. Most phones now come with a GPS built in. Many apps now have access to that GPS and connects users to a location service that provides up-to-date information about their location.
But did you know that using location settings can leave a digital trail that strangers can follow? New warnings have surfaced to protect vulnerable smartphone users.
Location services will make your whereabouts available to the public, not just to your friends. This becomes dangerous if that information is shared with people you don’t know. Location sharing makes it easy for predators and dangerous individuals to track you or your children to the locations they’ve visited.
Help protect yourself and your kids with these tips on limiting your digital trail:
- Turn off your phone’s location services in general settings – these can be turned on for specific apps if needed.
- Check linked accounts and social media privacy settings – content can be visible to more than just your friends.
- Go over your child’s friend list and know who can see what they post.
- Discuss with your kids what is appropriate to post and where it’s appropriate to check in.
- Don’t leave the GPS setting on your mobile phone on.
It’s important to review your privacy settings on social media sites and to limit what apps have access to your location. Try to limit how often you “check in” to specific places. Not all companies are up front about who has access to their information on you.
For More Information:
- Understanding “Location Services” and Your Kids Mobile Digital Trail, Internet Safety.com
- GPS Tracking: Should Your Teens Use Location Services?, Common Sense
- Sexual predators using cellphones to prey on kids, UT San Diego
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