It’s common for individuals to have their location settings on for a number of reasons. Often having our location settings on makes life a bit more convenient for us as sites and apps are able to identify things closer to or related to us based on our location.
Some positive impacts of having our location settings on can consist of tracking our devices if they go missing, apps like Find My Friends allow us to know where our friends and family are, social media features better cater to us, in the event of an emergency first responders are able to triangulate our location, and much more. However, there are potential dangers of keeping our location settings on all the time.
By having our location settings continuously on, our phones are actually collecting a ton of data on our whereabouts. This collects the exact location of your device, so if you’re visiting your doctor, walking your dog at a specific park, working from home, or anything else, that data is being recorded, and if that were to get into the wrong hands, you could find yourself in potential danger.
One example is when your location settings are on, the photos you take have a geocode attached to them that can give away your specific location data. This could put you and your family in potential danger if the data was accessed by a malicious cybercriminal.
Typically apps will ask for your location to be shared with it one time only or indefinitely. If you need to share your location settings with an app or website, we highly recommend only sharing it temporarily.
To be safe, simply turn off default location settings on your phone and only share location data to specific apps temporarily when needed. It’s better to keep your location settings off as many apps may be using and collecting your location data without you knowing, ultimately putting you in potential danger.