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Location Based Services And Security

June 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 167

It seems that more and more location-based services are surfacing, jumping on the Social Media bandwagon.

Now, I'm not an old fuddy-duddy, and I can see how some of these services might be of use to businesses and potentially to individuals. I do however, have massive concerns over the privacy and security of these services.

Firstly, there is the physical security aspects. The information about where you are could be used to target you personally for malicious intent. This could range from mugging you as you leave a venue to burgling your home while you're out.

Then there are the issues of who has access to this information. There are various rules and laws which apply to data protection but under what jurisdiction are you accounts being managed? Who both from a staffing point of view and a company point of view has access to the information? Are your locations, movements and habits being observed, monitored and assessed for other reasons - some of these may be purely for targeted marketing but others could be for more insidious purposes?

I have been critical in the past of individuals who post on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites with too much detail about where they are and what they are doing. Now we have services specifically designed to post and collect this information, and we're signing up to them en-masse. We're allowing others to track our every movement because we've believe we're being sociable and it will make us more popular.

The simple fact of the matter is that people will leave themselves open because there are multiple, complicated options on the security settings page - will every user truly understand them all? And another question is how do you know all of your "friends" are the only ones viewing your information? It could be that their accounts have been compromised or hacked, or indeed that you have mistakenly added a "friend" who isn't who you think it is.

My philosophy is this - whatever you share on the internet, even just to "friends" you should consider it public domain and visible to everyone.

Don't tell anyone anything, say you are or have been anywhere, or opine about something you wouldn't want your mother, your boss, your partner, future bosses, and partners (and mothers?) or the rest of the world to know!

That way, you can protect yourself, your identity and your information.

Lee Hezzlewood is the founder of Secure Thinking, a UK company providing specialist services in Data Protection and Cyber-Security. Get help setting up your Security Awareness Programme.

Source: EzineArticles
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