Location, Location, Location. Sometimes it’s best not to tell.

Posted: June 8, 2010 in apps, social networking
Tags: , , , , ,

As I said in a previous post, there is a fine line between using your location to help find pertinent information and using location services to tell the world where you are at all times.  While it may seem cool that your friends can track your whereabouts as you tweet or update, is it really that smart to make your daily routine common knowledge. Call me paranoid if you want but there are plenty of documented instances of people cyberstalking others – be it an ex, an obsession, a groupie, a “fan”, etc – and by letting these potential ne’er-do-wells know where you are, you are making the process all that much easier for them.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t let anyone know what is going on in your life or what exciting places you are visiting, but refrain from giving away too many details.  Telling everyone you are taking off for the weekend and the house is empty and oh yeah, we just took the dog to the cutest doggie-daycamp since no one will be home to look after it is not a good idea if you also have the habit of having location services enabled during your tweets or updates.  In no time a person with very little technical expertise can find out where you live and map out your routine for their own nefarious uses.

It’s great to be able to open an app or program and use your location to determine where the nearest restaurant or coffee shop or specific bank branch is, but is it really a good idea to be constantly using a program like Foursquare , Gowalla, FaceBook or Twitter  to lojack your smartphone or laptop?  Personal safety is sadly something we really need to be aware of more than the previous generations ever did. I don’t want to sound like the harbinger of doom but along with all the advances in technology comes the added need to use them responsibly and think about the possible negative side of having so much personal information out there for all to see.

On a completely unrelated topic, does anyone know where I can get one of those fake hollowed-out rocks you can hide a key inside?

tcg

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