Monday, 4 November 2013

I'm Over Here (Which Means I'm Not Over There)

Today, more than ever, people interact with social networking by means of their mobile devices, bringing images and unique interactive data to the masses.

We've often seen images of our friends on Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram etc, with a location tag linked to the image.  Gradually our photo's on our devices get organised to location, so we can quickly find images we took when were were on our holiday in some sunny or fun location.

However, with this exciting and interesting addition, comes a word of caution - particularly if our privacy settings are not closed down enough.

With today's technology and search engine power, it is not too difficult for a criminal to build up a picture of your movements if your location services are switched on to public access.  They'll be able to see and work out where you are by following your twitter account, your Facebook account or your Instagram account and know when you are at various locations.  And of course, while you are in a new location... you are NOT at home.

It might be easy to conclude that nobody knows where you live, but with a few deductions, a few checks on the names of the friends you have, or the school you attended or place you work, your address details could easily be discovered.  We'll let your over imaginative thoughts conclude what could happen if a criminal knew where you lived and when you were not at home.

So what can we do about it?  

Let's not be party poopers and suggest that we don't take photo's of our holidays (although the thought of going through hundreds of "and this is another picture of that sandwich we ate in France" photo's does make us consider this). No realistically it would be a far better idea to ensure that our location services are restricted to friends and family and make sure that those we have listed amongst friends and family are just that. Friends and family.

Technology will always have it's place in society, it's made enough of an impact to never go out of fashion in today's life, but its also open to abuse. And abused it is. It's used to advance everything, including crime.  So by doing our part, we can reduce the risk of it happening to us.

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