Big Brother is watching you. New geotargeting technology allows advertisers to follow your every movement, and send you targeted advertising appropriate to your geographical location. Most new phones are required to have GPS installed on them, in order to help emergency personnel locate you when you dial 911.
Social media sites are all plugging their cell phone apps, to allow your smart phone to access Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flikr, Foursquare, and a number of other platforms. And many of these social media companies are taking advantage of geotargeting.
Facebook has an app called Places that lets you “check in” to specific sites and let your Facebook friends know where you are. While you’re not exactly broadcasting your address directly, you’re showing a picture of one of your favorite places. That picture appears on your Facebook page with embedded information, including location, time and geographical coordinates.
Anyone with the know-how can pull out that embedded information. And even though your settings may be set to private, your pictures can still come up in a Google search, complete with that embedded information.
There are also a number of applications where your phone will automatically key in your location. Stalkers can use this information to follow you. More commonly, criminals have been known to use this information to rob houses while people are away. There’s even a new term for it: cybercasing.
To avoid being the victim of cybercasing, here are some safety precautions you should follow:
- Don’t post “check in” pix while you’re out – wait till you get home to post.
- Don’t post your plans to attend a big event.
- Check the options on your cell phone to see if you can select 911 only for geolocating.
- Turn off “share location” on any social media sites you use, and be aware that any pictures you post may have geo-tags.
- Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.
A monitored home security system from SafeTouch will add greatly to your peace of mind, securing your home and valuables while you’re away. With a guaranteed response time of 45 seconds and average response time of 11 seconds, you can be sure that no cyber criminal or stalker will be able to invade your secured living space.
SafeTouch has been providing home security services throughout the Jacksonville area for more than 20 years, including security camera installation, alarm monitoring and now even wireless home security systems.