Cybersecurity

3 steps to consider for your location services settings.

The world is changing. There is no dought about that. As the world changes, so does the world of technology. But is that always a good thing? Well sometimes it is and sometimes it’s dangerous. One of the changes that has swept across America is taking pictures with cell phones and tablets. This in itself is not the issue, but when we post those pictures for the whole world to see, that’s where danger can happen.

By default, many of our cameras and tablets have location services turned on. What does this mean? Well, when a camera has location services turned on, a GPS coordinate is embedded into the picture. With the right software tools, a predator or thief can see actually where a picture is taken. So when you take a picture of your kid’s room with your phone or tablet’s camera and post that picture to Facebook, someone with the right tools can take the GPS coordinates out of the picture and know exactly where that child lives.

Even if you are not worried about your kids, you may be telling people when you are away from home. So does this mean that we shouldn’t post photos of our friends and family? No, it means that you just need to protect yourself. Here’s a few simple steps to keep you safe:

Step 1

First, turn off your phone or tablet’s Location Services. To do this on most phones or tablets, go into the settings and then go into either privacy, security, or location services (depending on the device). Make sure that you turn off the use of Location Services when using your phone or tablet’s camera.

Step 2

Second, turn off Windows 10 settings. That’s right, Windows 10 comes pre-set with some options that you may want to turn off, including location services and allowing other applications the right to send, receive, and see your personal messages. So how do we turn that stuff off?  Well its actually simple. Click on the Start button in the lower left hand corner of your screen. Then choose Settings and finally choose Privacy. Now go down the list and look at all of the options here. Turn off any options that you are uncomfortable leaving on. After each section, click on the next section on the left (the sections start with General, Location, Camera, Microphone, Speech (this also includes inking, & typing), Account info, Contacts, Calendar, Call History, Email, Messaging, Radios, Other Devices, Feedback, and Background apps.

Step 3

Finally, do not post pictures when you are away from home. Wait until you get home before posting those vacation pictures. Also, don’t post messages that state you’re excited to be going away for a week. These types of posts just tell other people when you are not at home. Posting pictures of you on your cruise just tells everyone that your house is empty. We all know that your friends and family can’t survive without seeing your vacation photos, but make them wait. It’s best to never let anyone know that you are not at home.

Remember, they call it the world-wide web for a reason. Always keep that in mind when you’re posting pictures and updates and you will help keep you and your family safe.