An alarming study in a leading publication concluded that certain smart phone usage is seriously eroding our personal privacy. “Whenever we use location-aware devices, or tap on Waze or dating apps like Tinder, or check-in on Facebook, we are really diminishing our own privacy,” says the researcher Dr. Hatuka.
Five Tips which every savvy smartphone user should follow.
- Turn off GPS
- Don’t leave Google Maps or Waze running
- Don’t disclose your current location on Facebook posts or other apps
- Beware of location aware apps
- Use a second phone number for signing on to dating sites and apps
Leaving your GPS on all the time not only drains your battery faster, but also makes your location available to many apps. Turn it off when you don’t need it. Limit its usage to getting directions.
Do you really need Maps running all the time? Turn it off when you don’t need it any more. Why do you want to let internet companies track your location history continuously? On your device simply go to Settings > Location Services, and delete location history and turn it off on Android devices attached to your Google account.
Check-ins pioneered by Foursquare is now available in many apps like Facebook for sharing your current location. “Don’t do it” for the sake of your privacy. There is no telling who may be stalking you or targeting your empty house when you’re gone.
No doubt, location aware apps can be super convenient. Whether you are doing a simple Google search for Starbucks “near me” or using an app like OK Cupid to find a date in the neighborhood, sharing your location gives you the most relevant results fast. Be cautious how often you share your location with apps, lest your life becomes an open book.
Dating is now gamified, whether you are using a site like match.com or an app like Tinder. These apps require you to provide a real phone number where you can receive and send texts. Before sharing your real mobile number with strangers, consider getting a second number for your mobile. iPlum app gives you a real phone number that you can use to isolate those texts and calls.