In a globalised world, the majority of us cannot imagine a world without the use of technology. From the moment we wake up to when we go to sleep, we are constantly connected through technology without realising it. However, do we consider the dangers of knowing where everyone is at all times?
Recently, the Kim Kardashian heist has received a lot of media attention – good and bad. Yet, people, especially teens and young adults still use these platforms and share where they are located without any concern or consideration for the consequences that are attached to sharing the location. Geotagging, or tagging your location with an in-built GPS embedded in a picture or video, allows the public or anyone that has access to your social media platform to locate your current or past location.
Geotagging, or tagging your location with an in-built GPS embedded in a picture or video, allows the public or anyone that has access to your social media platform to locate your current or past location
It is not only GPS that can be used as an identifier but also pictures and videos of inside a room or a particular monument that is associated with the location, for example a particular view of a building next door. Yes, this is simple enough to understand however, most people do this without thinking and geotagging has become a habit amongst many. The consequences of this may result in something completely different from the intention of the user. This includes allowing easier access for criminals to identify the persons’ location or create a pattern for observation and surveillance which may lead to stalking. One example is tagging pictures at home. Although a user may not tag themselves at home, mediums like Instagram will tag a photo’s location through GPS at the time of posting, resulting in a location that may put other family members at risk. A Geotag can be removed although to do so requires several steps through manual editing.
Another common example is for social media users to tag themselves at airports, including their ticket which reveals their flight and seat number. The intention of this may be to show off where their next adventure is or to alert their friends where they are, but they are essentially disclosing information that could make them a potential target.This may all seem far-fetched however, we often forget about our own personal security – a form of security that seems to have various levels of importance depending on the platform and the awareness of what is at risk.
Executives and companies may also be at risk as using social media platforms lay the foundation for marketing campaigns. These types of location sharing could also be problematic for executives and CEO’s. A Social media security scan is one option for those that share the limelight or who frequently use social media to ensure that their personal information is secure. Managing Director of Agilient, Mark Bezzina stresses that “revealing such private information could lead to cyber security breaches and without the right protection, you and your company or private details could be at high risk”.
Originally geotagging was used privately to sort photos, however now as the globalised world continues to expand, the risk is higher and is something we need to be more mindful of.
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