Mobile phone technology is amazing isn’t it? It’s so amazing it can track your child’s location (hey, they are called ‘smart phones’ for a reason). In fact, your family is likely uploading dozens of photos a week and inadvertently broadcasting your exact whereabouts.
Both safety and privacy is put at risk each time your child takes a photo and posts it online or anytime she uses an app on her phone that includes a geo locator component (like Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, Google Maps, etc.)
That’s because most cell phones today embed GPS data into your activity. Like taking photos, using apps, posting to social networks, and using store coupons. Using a simple GPS plug-in, a potential stalker can drag your uploaded photo on to his desktop from the Internet and easily read the data connected to that picture. It can take him within inches of your child’s location.
What can you do? One simple step: Turn off location services or GPS on your phone or child’s phone. Yes, one click and your date privacy and safety increase instantly!
Note: Phone models will vary however, these basic instructions should get you in the click vicinity to disable location/GPS services on your child’s phone.
• Tap your Settings icon. Choose “Privacy.”
• “Location Services” should be the first option you see.
• Simply slide the bar to “Off.”
• Go into General Settings.
• Phones will vary but you will see either “GPS,” “GPS Satellites,” or “Location.”
• Tap the disable button. Some droids will have an “Emergency Only” options; choose that option so that GPS is active for emergencies.
Should your child want to use a movie app, or some other app that requires geotagging, allow them to turn Location Services back on for that action. Make sure they turn it off immediately.
If you have a few minutes, watch this news report to see how exacting location services can be and how so often, families can overlook this one critical safeguard.
Toni Birdsong is a Family Safety Evangelist to McAfee. You can find her on Twitter @McAfee_Family.
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