We live in the age of increasingly changing digital media where we are continuously under pressure to share bits of information. Most importantly, we love to flaunt our lives on social media. The check-ins at Facebook, live streaming posts at Snapchat and pictures on Instagram are like routine thing for us. There is no end to the information being shared online every moment. We all are infected by the bug of social media that keeps us glued to our mobile screen for hours.
What we forget in all this is where our information is going. Are we sharing it with friends or with random strangers unknowingly? Maybe you want to share where you are going next through a flight check-in on Facebook or just a good hair day selfie on Instagram. All such posts require your location to be enabled on your mobile phone and that will not always be safe.
As we rely on social media with closed eyes, we forget that clicking the ‘share’ button can prove otherwise too. Just a plain selfie but tagged or might we say ‘geo-tagged’ can be a great source of information for predators and that is something against which we all must exercise caution.
What is a Geo-tag?
Geo-tag is a sort of electronic geographical identification tag that can be tagged with pictures, videos, SMS and more. In plain words, Geo-tagging is a process where we insert location in a picture post on Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare.
Pros & Cons of Geo-tagging:
While geo-tagging has become such a common practice that we hardly remember whether we need to re-think before tagging our pictures with location. But the irony is if we do not check-in with a location, no one would believe that we actually visited that place. From a common person to high end celebrity, everyone loves to share about their lives all the time, be it on Snapchat or Instagram. But what we fail to recognize is that every piece of data that we shared contains valuable information in the form of geo-tag. There might be many online predators out there eyeing on this information from your end. To save oneself from people with wrong intentions, one needs to think twice before geo-tagging.
Lets us guide you through Dos and Don’ts of geo-tagging and how to exercise caution –
- ‘No’ is the word: The best way to combat any unnecessary threat is to turn the GPS function off on your phone. This will immediately prevent apps from gathering your location information. In fact your camera app won’t even store your location. To turn it off, go to Privacy in Settings and toggle the location off. It is sure way to safety with that selfie you shared on social media.
- Be Picky: If you are thinking to turn off the location forever is not your cup of tea, wait a minute. There is other way around this. Simply go to ‘Location Services’ in your mobile and review apps that are using your location services. The lists will appear giving you insights about the apps that will always keep a tab on your location. So you can unselect the ones that you won’t need to access ever. You would be shocked to see how many useless apps were having access to your location.
- Secure your mobile: You can always look for security software that can offer protection against privacy breach. They can also guide us with useful tips on how no to compromise your security.
- Prevention is the best: By constantly sharing your personal data with public, you might be giving the useful information to stalker unintentionally. So try to share your posts within your circle or enable privacy settings on Facebook and Instagram.
While many marketers these days are eyeing on location info for selling location-based products, little awareness is needed at our end. Try to disable geo-tag wherever it is possible. Exposing your location to unwanted users might bring consequences that can prove dangerous.