Geolocation and its possible risks

Geolocation and its possible risks

For a long time in the world of the Internet and new technologies there has been a buzzword: geolocation . To explain it in a simple way, geolocating means indicating, on a mobile terminal, our geographical position (via GPS data ) to receive a priori information about where we are or where we are going. It is an aspect that is gaining more and more importance, since technological giants like Google are giving it importance in their search systems, and many social networks already include it as a key element for its growth.

Geolocation and its possible risksGeolocation has, like everything, advantages and disadvantages . As users of mobile devices we will benefit from these advantages, but we must also be aware of the risks to which we are exposed, since our privacy will be irremediably affected in some way or another.

There are mobile applications that tell us how to get to a certain place; there are others that indicate to other friends or users where we are at that moment, there are some that collect our location to provide us with useful information about our environment … All this is very good and very useful to us, it is true. But as users, we must also be aware of the risks involved in being always localizable and localized.

There are a large number of applications on our smartphone that use geolocation without our being aware of it. When we download one, we accept the conditions without reading the fine print and we are not interested in whether it uses information about where we are or where we move to benefit in some way. And, after all, when we talk about web applications or tools we are talking about services with for- profit organizations behind .

Geolocation and its possible risksThe answer to all this really depends on what each one wants to make known of himself, taking into account that the more presence there is and the more data is provided, the privacy will be more limited. Therefore, it is important to be cautious when sharing our information with third parties and to be clear about what we are exposed to.

If we prefer to have the location activated for all the advantages that it supposes and because it is useful to us, no problem. However, if we decide that it is better to go unnoticed, if we do not want to be geolocated, mobile devices allow us to deactivate the option by following a few simple steps.

Here we explain how to do it for Android and iOS operating systems:

Steps to disable geolocation on Android

Geolocation and its possible risksFor users of mobile devices with Android operating system, the steps to follow to disable the location of the terminal are as follows:

– Go to Settings .

– Go to the option of Location or Location Services .

– Click on Location Information and disable the option.

– Click on Location History and disable the option.

In a minute we will have geolocation disabled. If at the end we change our mind and want to activate it again, we will have to go to the same place.

Steps to disable geolocation on iOS

Geolocation and its possible risksAs for the mobiles that have iOS (all iPhones), the process to follow in order to deactivate geolocation is as follows:

– Go to Settings .

– Select Privacy

– Select Location .

– Deactivate all location services, so that it stops doing it all over the phone, or in the list of applications that appears, deactivating those that represent a risk.

With just a few steps our device will no longer track our position.

Some useful tips

On this topic, ISACA , a global, independent, non-profit organization specializing in new technologies and computer systems, suggests that people follow a 5-step “route” or tips for the informed use of geolocation services:

– Read the contracts of the mobile applications to see what information we are sharing.
– Only enable geolocation when the benefits are greater than the possible risks.
– Understand that others can follow our current and past location.
– Think before posting tagged photos on social media.
– Adopt technology and educate yourself and others

As we have commented, not everything is negative in geolocation, since thanks to this system users can find places of interest close to where they are and this at certain times is very useful, so it is about knowing how to use this advantage with sense common.

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