With the progression of technology new concerns arise. The same goes for phones. While early phones couldn’t do much more than call other phones, current age ones are filled with gadgets and software. This isn’t an issue by itself. The elaborate features available to us at a press of a button are frequently used by millions of people across the globe. Be it a simple social media app or a specialized software we are guaranteed to require our phones to run an app at some point.
However, these apps may require our location or encourage sharing of said location. The sharing of one’s location can lead to troublesome situations. These are often related to possible stalking or home invasion scenarios. The internet and its use alone can result in these situations but we should inform ourselves first rather than living in constant fear of possible intrusions to our safety. Here are the ways you may be tracked and some ways to prevent it.
Uncovering your location through social networks
Social media often invites us to present our current location be it the current housing or our location on a trip. This is most prominent on Facebook and Instagram, where presenting your location acts as added context to your posts on said social networks. This can easily compromise your safety, especially if you spell out the exact location or include potential identifiers in the picture. The phone versions of such apps may also be configured to automatically present the location you are in, although this depends on your settings. Take a quick peek at the current state of your configurations. Make sure the geotagging feature is turned off to prevent automatic revealing of your location.
The photos themselves could compromise your location. The background of those photos could have very telling signs of your location. These include landmarks, street signs, license plates, or shop names. If you are constantly on the move or a tourist trip this won’t be as important but for those who frequently take pictures in their hometown and aren’t open with the information of which place they live in it may be smarter to take precautions.
Keep in mind that there are some extensions and apps that are inherently based on your location and geotagging. These items should be properly managed if you are concerned about your privacy. These usually include GPS-style apps that are supposed to pinpoint your location with extra information or tourist apps that help you orient yourself.
The resolution for all of these situations is taking more care of which pictures you take and revising available settings on the apps you have installed.
Tracking through spy software
The proper care and configuration will keep you safe from most preemptively configured software and potential, unintentional compromisation of privacy. However, this doesn’t help if you have spy software installed on your smartphone. The spy software itself is a very useful tool for parents and people who want to reassure themselves of other’s safety but it should be used with the other person’s consent. The use of this software can even help prevent phone theft as you’ll quickly be able to find the item’s location and notify the authorities about it. Unfortunately, there are situations where this handy software is used for more malicious means.
The features of this software can also include the ability to read text messages or listening to phone calls. This is even more invasive, unveiling a lot of private details and interactions between you and the other people you contact. The spy software is additionally hard to detect because it runs silently when installed and doesn’t occupy much of the phone’s power. It will stealthily collect and send information without the user’s knowledge.
Thankfully, the use of this software requires it to be directly installed on your phone. This means that the best way to avoid becoming a victim of misused spy software is to be careful about people you allow access to your phone. Passwords are a must, even if you don’t like the added hassle of having to unlock your phone every time you use it. If you get a hint that spy software may be installed it’s fruitful to check it through any available means, to prevent further invasion of privacy.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t compromise the power and utility of these tools, just showcases potential abuse which you should avoid. All legal misuse is something the customer is responsible for. If you wish to geolocate people you care about and make sure everybody’s where they were meant to be click here for some useful geolocating software.
Interception of your phone signal
The ability to invade your privacy isn’t limited to the past two categories. Somebody may attempt to intercept your phone’s signal and steal information through it. The most common style of hijacking the phone’s signal is through Bluetooth. If your Bluetooth is open and turned on somebody can easier tap into your smartphone with another Bluetooth-capable device. Once connected, the hijacker has easy access to your contacts and data while being able to send data to your phone.
The easiest way to counter this is by keeping Bluetooth off when it’s not being used and secure it by restricting access to the device through Bluetooth radio.
Another source of the signal that can be intercepted is the one going towards cellular towers or WiFi access points. The danger here comes in the form of hackers who modify their devices into something capable of imitating and manipulating trusted connections. While they may be simple to counteract, by limiting the connections and radio access or turning off WiFi and GPS when they aren’t in use, they can be dangerous. They can send malware to your phone that may further compromise your privacy and safety as well as give information of your location and contacts to possibly dangerous people. They themselves may be a stalker and present a very difficult problem to our everyday life.
Thankfully, these are more complex ways of stalking and aren’t something widely accessible to anybody so it’s the least likely source of issues to your privacy. Keep firm on upholding previous suggestions and they should be even less of an issue.
The use of phones can easily compromise safety but their everyday utility makes them incredibly important. Instead of being worried and scared about devices being used against us, we should take precautions and active steps to avoid trouble. This can be done in a variety of ways from limiting available connections to being careful with app configurations.