Location feature on phones can provide giveaway of who and where you are

DENVER -- Your phone can provide a giveaway of where you are to just about anyone. That can be useful or dangerous depending on the situation.

Cybersecurity experts say the key to remaining safe is to make your location feature work for you, not against you.

Setting your phone’s location feature to “on” allows easy navigation to your destination, helps friends meet up with you and enables the use of ride-share companies.

The feature can be used to track your location if you are in need of emergency assistance, but it can also be a beacon for anyone trying to track you down for the wrong reasons.

Mitch Tanenbaum of "CyberCecurity” Information Risk Strategy Consulting tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers your location history along with public Wi-Fi services you use can be combined with what you post on social media to reveal more than you may want anyone to know.

“There are many points of identification and a ZIP code and a first name is probably enough to identify you ... as well as figure out where you work, live or even your favorite coffee shop," he said.

That’s why it is important to think before you give any app permission to use your location.

Tanenbaum said consider this example.

“An app that you downloaded has emojis, and for whatever reason you gave it access to location," he said.

He also warns some ride-share apps can continue to track your location long after your trip is over.

“That app will have your permission forever and every time that app runs it may collect your location data and this information can be sold," he said.

He recommends shutting down apps you are not using to avoid unwanted tracking.

Experts say the best way to take control of your privacy and security is to only set your location to “on” when you need it, and make sure to turn it off before you make any social media posts.

The same goes for Wi-Fi. It might be a hassle to some, but Tanenbaum said the compromise is worth it.

“The convenience factor says ‘I’ll just leave location on all the time.’ The safety factor says, ‘I don’t want my location disclosed,'" he said.

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