Is Location Tracking putting you at risk?

"Turn On Location Tracking to Allow ‘apps’ to Determine Your Location"

How many times have you seen that pop up on one of your devices? How many times have you enabled Location Tracking? And how many times have you thought about the consequences?

There are thousands of applications out there capable of doing incredible things, many of which involve knowing a person’s ‘Current Location’.

Mobile and Wi-Fi companies are able to carry out round the clock tracking on devices due to these Location Tracking Services being allowed, putting many end users at risk of being targeted by cyber criminals or having their movements monitored and data used by companies for marketing purposes or being sold to 3rd parties.

The Data Protection Act, The Privacy of Electronic Communications Regulations and the Information Commissioner provide clear guides for how data should be stored and how it can be used. These regulations should be adhered to by all companies, something which mobile and Wi-Fi companies argue they do, but as the digital era progresses, this information will only increase in value for these companies and their partners.

One of the biggest issues surrounding this is the real anonymity of anonymised data, as companies don’t require permission to use data that is considered to be anonymous.

The problem is that a lot of personal data obtained from sources such as Location Services, can be collected without much awareness or understanding, unlike more traditional data sources like name, address & phone number, which have usually been controlled by end users. There is danger for these two data sources to be cross referenced leading to once anonymous individuals being identified.

Information such as where you go, how long you spend there, and frequently visited places can all be collected, stored and displayed for anyone to read and your details can be accessed from the Internet by anyone.

There are a few things you can do to help protect yourself:

  • The first thing is to turn off location tracking or frequent location mapping on your smart phone
  • Delete all the apps you don’t use
  • Turn off location tracking for all apps that don’t require it to actually function.
  • For those that do, disable permissions the apps doesn’t require in order to function
  • Read privacy policies closely
  • Check where companies are based, if they are in malware hotspots, consider whether having the app is worth its potential risks
  • Make sure you have a lock on your phone so that no one can download an app without your knowledge
  • Avoid using unencrypted public Wi-Fi where possible. Fake Wi-Fi networks can be designed to look like the real thing, but they’re actually operated by cyber criminals. Connecting to these networks can allow attackers to intercept emails, texts or calls, or direct you to places on the web where they can obtain sensitive passwords and other information.

If you would like any assistance in implementing any of the Location Tracking protection measures discussed in this blog, just Visit Our Contact Page to get in touch and we would be happy to help.

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