Are you giving the world too much information about yourself? What you are doing? Where you are going? Where you are? Maybe more important is where you are not!
Seemingly innocent and helpful devices and apps might be disclosing too much personal information. In the news recently is the case of our military using the fitness app Strava.
This social network for athletes allows users to share their fitness routines and running routes. This can lead to locations of security forces.
Here are other ways you may be revealing more than you realize and what to do about it:
- Checking in – Resist the urge to use the “check in” feature in social media. Not only will you disclose where you are but you also reveal where you aren’t.
- Don’t post activities and places you visit in real time.
- Photo sharing – Photos have embedded information that can reveal quite a bit about you such as your geolocation, date, time and even the device that was used to take the picture.
- Turn off geolocation in the settings on your mobile device
- Bluetooth – Although limited by its range, Bluetooth can be a way for others to track your whereabouts.
- Turn off Bluetooth when not in use. Be sure to create a password for connecting to your Bluetooth device.
- WiFi – Connecting to wireless Internet comes with risks. Your device could become compromised with malware or viruses.
- Turn off wifi when not in use. Make sure that you do not connect to wifi with which you are unfamiliar. Never use public wifi for personal business like banking and shopping. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) whenever possible.
- Phishing – Cyber criminals use phishing or smishing (SMS messaging) to obtain personal information from you. They continue to do this because it is successful and the easiest means for them to steal your information.
- Be wary when opening attachments or clicking on links. Don’t reply to emails or texts that are unknown and unsolicited.
- Apps – Some apps will want access to your contacts, photos and want to control your interactions with others on your behalf. Sometimes they will ask for more personal information during the installation than should be necessary.
- Smart phones and social media – If you do not take the time to set your privacy settings you may be unwillingly opening yourself up to vulnerabilities.
- Check your device settings. Disable any unnecessary services. Social media settings can allow you to share or shield your posts.