Geo-tagging: Is Your Smartphone Revealing Your Location?
7/22/2012 12:32:12 AM
Location-based services utilize geo-location information tied to your phones GPS and in some cases your carriers connection and even WiFi
Geo-location or geo-tagging can be used on PCs, but is primarily applicable to mobile phones. The geo-location software usually obtains its data from your device’s Internet protocol (IP) address or your global positioning System (GPS) longitude and latitude. Many of today’s social networking sites are now incorporating location-based services that allow users to broadcast their locations via smartphone.
This technology can be useful to predators, thieves, and other criminals, since it makes it so simple to determine where you are, and where you are not.
The BBC reports in Australia masked men, armed with a knife and a club, struck the home of a 17-year-old girl’s mother hours after a teenager posted a photo on Facebook of a large sum of cash. It is not clear how the robbers found the family address. The Facebook image was at the grandmother’s Sydney house.
Someone who is paying unwanted attention to you can see your exact address each time you post a geo-tagged photo and check in.
Thieves use geo-location to determine whether you are home or not, and then use that data to plan a burglary.
To prevent home burglary and protect yourself from broadcasting your location, you should:
Turn off your location services on your mobile phone or only leave it enabled for applications like maps. Most geo-location services are turned on by default.
Be careful on what images and information you are sharing on social networks and when. For example, it’s best to wait until you are home to upload those vacation photos.
Make sure you check your privacy settings on your social networking sites that you’re sharing information on to make sure you are only sharing information with your friends and not everyone.
Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist toHome Security Source discussingADT Pulse on Fox News. Disclosures