SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A domestic violence prevention summit is underway in San Jose where the focus is on issues dealing with technology, stalking and trafficking.
Some people might not realize that potential stalkers can use a victim’s smartphone to find out where they are. The conference is reminding people to turn off location services, or if you leave them on, be sure that any apps that are location aware are turned off or not displaying your whereabouts.
People would probably be surprised at how many apps actually use location services. It’s not just the obvious ones like Google Maps or the map app built into your iPhone. Most or just about all social networking apps like Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter all have these tracking components. It’s not so much to spy on you, but geolocation allows you to check in, but also it can gather information so that advertising can be catered to your whereabouts.
Think of how handy this comes in when using the Yelp app when you want to find a restaurant in unfamiliar territory.
This may seem obvious, but make sure potential abusers don’t have your passwords. This would likely be in the case of a previous spouse or significant other. If you end up replacing your phone, make sure you don’t just update it with data from your own phone; do it manually so you don’t get any spyware on the new device.
As far as being located in an emergency, one thing you cannot disable is E-911. That’s secure as mandated by federal law. Even if you turn off location services, when you dial 911, dispatch will know your approximate location.