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Are You Sharing Your Location With the World?

Are You Sharing Your Location With the World?

There are times when sharing your location with specific websites or apps is integral to their use. For instance, location sharing is essential if you want to use Google Maps, and it provides immense peace of mind in some cases, such as when used with apps that allow parents to monitor their child’s location. When used properly and for the right reasons, location sharing has some positive uses. 

However, like many other types of technology designed to make life easier, location sharing can be misused and can lead to an invasion of your privacy. Here are the risks associated with location sharing privacy and what you can do to help protect your family.

Your Location Data is Being Sold 

The odds are pretty good that if you use location sharing your cell phone provider is selling your location data to third parties. The danger with this is that your location information is often stored in formats that can be easily breached by those with the skills and knowledge to do so. 

What is even more concerning is that this type of personal data can be shared without the phone provider needing your consent. Phone companies continue this practice because they are profit-driven. Their profit is more important than your privacy. 

What Steps Can Be Taken to Improve Location Sharing Privacy?

With so many apps designed to operate best with location sharing, it can be hard to determine how and when to change your location sharing settings. Here are four steps you can take to improve your location sharing privacy:

  1. Turn off the location settings on all apps. When you need to use an app that requires it, turn it on for that session and then turn it back off when done.
  2. Adjust the location tracking settings in any app or service that creates a map of your past locations. 
  3. If an app or website requires information from you, provide only the bare minimum.
  4. Every app requires certain permissions. Be sure you read them and the app provider’s privacy statement or terms of service. This will tell you what they can and cannot do with your data.

Additional Tips for Avoiding Location Sharing Dangers

If you have children with smartphones or getting to the age where they will want one, the earlier you begin instilling these location sharing best practices in them, the better. And if you are working from home so many others during the pandemic, make sure your video conferences aren't sharing more than your business meeting with these tips on how to stop web conferencing from revealing your IP address.

Here are some additional tips to help keep your family protected.

Avoid publicizing your every move on social media: Cyber criminals and local thieves won’t need to track you if you are always telling them where you and what you are doing throughout the day. Constantly sharing your locations and activities makes it all-too-easy for others to track your daily routine. This allows others to be able to predict with high probability where you are at any given time.

Avoid sharing vacation photos until you return home: Everybody loves a great vacation post on social media, but by posting pictures of you and your family away from your home in real time, you are increasing your risk of falling victim to a home break-in. Play it safe and only share your vacation photos after you have returned home.

Check your phone’s location sharing settings often: Just because you turned your location sharing settings off for a certain app doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Apps routinely activate their location sharing settings when they update, so make it a habit to check your phone’s settings often to see how many apps are accessing your location data. 

Winston Can Help Hide Your Location From Trackers

Apps and websites automatically track your location through your IP address. Cloaking your IP can help minimize your location sharing and protect your privacy. While there are myriad software solutions that promise to hide your IP address, most aren’t effective and some even do the very thing they’re supposed to be protecting you from – sharing (and selling) your data! 

The Winston Privacy Filter routes your IP address through a network of other anonymous Winston users and changes your IP address every 10 minutes, making it nearly impossible for hackers and trackers to match your IP address with your actual location. And it protects ALL the devices on your home network, including smart devices you can't install software on, such as smart TVs and doorbells.  The best part is, Winston is a zero-logging platform. We never track, package, or sell your data - ever. We guarantee it.

Stop worrying about others tracking your location every time you use an app or go online. Try Winston today to protect you and your family from data tracking. Best of all, there’s absolutely no risk – if you’re not satisfied with Winston’s privacy-boosting capabilities, you can return it within 30 days for a refund.