Location Based Services (LBS) is a technology widely used to identify a smartphone device’s geographical location. Smartphones have a built-in feature which uses GPS and cell tower locations to pinpoint your approximate location. This allows you to post your exact location through social media or other apps.
There are growing locations-based applications (apps) and games that allow you to tell others where you are and what you are doing. For example, many social media apps allow you to type in your location or post your position on a map.
The risk that comes with enabling your LBS or sharing your location is that some online services that track your location could be used for spying, stalking or theft.
Ensure your privacy and personal safety while using LBS by paying attention to privacy features.
- Restrict it to friends. Be cautious about sharing your location information. It might be fun to know where your friends and family are but ensure you restrict your settings to share information only with those you know and trust.
- When signing up for an online account, limit your personal information such as your home address, full name, credit card details, etc.
- Consider only turning on LBS when needed and turning it off when not in use. If it’s turned on, you are allowing yourself to be tracked.
- Control the sites that use mapping or geolocation, such as your social media accounts. Check the privacy settings and control how you want it to be used.
How to: Turn off Location Based Services
Apple device: Settings > Privacy > Location Services
Android device: Settings > Security & Location > Location