Understanding ‘Location Services’ and Your Kids’ Mobile Digital Trail

Few people understand the power of the ‘location services’ option on their smart phones. The service, which uses GPS to pin point your location, is impressive when it comes to many of the downloadable apps that require your “location” to bring up things such as nearby coffee spots, restaurants, coupons, or check-in options.

Often the “fun” of Location Services, basically GPS, overshadows the risks. Before letting your teens use Location Services, teach them safe practices to avoid giving out too much information.

Tips for mobile safety:

·       Turn off the overall “Location Services” in your phone in ‘Settings’ when not related to  frequently used apps.

·       Discuss safe “check-in” practices with your kids—or if they should use it at all.

·       Review privacy settings with your kids. Run through your kids’ mobile apps in “Settings.” Many times, they’ve selected “Allow Location Services” when downloading an app and do not realize it.

·       Take the time to review your teens’ friends list, and ask them if they know everyone who can see their posts.

·       Check to see if one social network is linked to a public account on another. Review each account’s privacy settings to see if linked accounts are visible to known friends.

·       Take an extra step. Make sure your kids’ mobile devices are protected, overall with proper filtering software. This will not affect “location services” but is a smart move toward general mobile safety.

Although it’s fun for teens to check-in everywhere they go, it is not always smart. Not only can this practice open them up to predators, it can also open up their personal information to advertising solicitors. Weaning your kids off this practice and turning off GPS when not in use, is our recommendation for smart mobile safety.

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