With facebook’s recent acquisition of gowalla, location-based services are again in the news.
Location based services?
You may not have heard of these before, basically they are easy ways of sharing where you are and what you are doing.
Usually accessed by an app on your phone that uses the built-in GPS, benefits can include:
– easy ways to share pictures
– a map of your location
– possible special offers from locations you visit.
The update can also be pushed to twitter or facebook as well as your app contacts…
One of the great things with Social Media is its openness, and the fact that your messages have the potential to be seen by millions…
however when it comes to personal security this might not always be the best thing as your updates could be public, and do you really know who all your online connections are?
This video illustrates the potential pitfalls of sharing exactly what you are doing and where you are doing it.
Although created by the military, replacing the terrorist with a burglar, mugger or stalker might make you reconsider what you are sharing:
What’s the solution?
There are several methods you can adopt to increase your safety, some of them are below:
– Check in when you check out: rather than saying where you are now you can say where you have been.
– Delay your status updates: rather than telling people ‘I’m going to be out of the office all day today at x, y z’ you can post it the next day telling people where you have been.
– Be vague in locations: rather than saying ‘I’m on the 8:05 to Waterloo again’ or similar, being purposely non specific.
– Security settings: there may be an option to hide your location check in, so you can still benefit from any special offers but aren’t publicly broadcasting your location.
Online security very much applies to the information in your profile too, as this video points out, so you may want to edit the details of what you are sharing (full dates of birth, full addresses, etc aren’t necessary on a public personal profile):
I have been using Social Media both personally and in my business since 2008 and haven’t had any issues, you just need to be aware of the public information that you are sharing and ask…
if I wasn’t in front of a computer or smartphone, would I be telling everyone exactly what I’m doing and where I am?