Many people use Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp, or other applications that allow announcements to be published on the Internet about where you are. Perhaps you do too. But did you know that criminals, both cyber and terrestrial, can take advantage of check-ins to do you harm?
Because these apps are used with your mobile device, they generate GPS coordinates; criminals can then pinpoint your location…and take action.
For example, if you checked-in or posted that you were at your bank making a withdrawal, thieves could either follow you when you left the bank, or knowing your home GPS coordinates or address, arrive at your house in time to rob you of your newly withdrawn cash.
This also is true for announcements, through check-ins or statuses, that you’ve just made a significant purchase. Again, you may have unwanted visitors when you get home.
Checking-in or posting can lead to significant risks:
1. Revealing addresses make it easy for thieves to visit you.
2. By checking-in you’re letting thieves know that you’re not at home; an invitation for them to burglarize your home while you’re gone.
3. Things to steal are revealed when you happily let your friends know that you have purchased a new TV or car.
4. Children’s safety is threatened when they reveal their location, especially if they’re home alone.
You can reduce your vulnerability by only using check-in services where you are sharing that information with a small and closed group of friends. Don’t activate geolocation functionalities of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and don’t “like” your Foursquare account to your Twitter account on your computer or mobile device. And finally, teach your children to use these apps responsibly and safely by telling them about the above risks.
Reference: Kaspersky blog article
Be very careful…it’s dangerous out there.
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