Social media apps are tracking your location in shocking detail
Here's a look at how three ways social media apps can be used to track your every move.
Facebook tracks the location of all of your messages.While it's pretty well known that Facebook's Messenger app uses location data, it's not so well known just how that location data can be used.
The extension, which is named after the magical map from "Harry Potter," basically reveals a person's exact location on a map. The extension is able to work because Facebook Messenger ties a user's location data to a message if their location settings are enabled. The extension then maps out the person's location based on where they send each messages.However, it this only works if the person you are messaging has location data for the app turned on.
Marauders Map Extension
If you want to turn location sharing for Facebook Messenger off so that data isn't being shared, go to "Settings" on your smartphone, select "Privacy", then select "Location Services." Once you are in "Location Services", select Facebook Messenger and turn off location sharing.
Instagram tracks your photos even if you don't geotag
This means that anybody can view the almost exact location of where an image was posted on a map even if the user doesn't select the "Name This Location" feature.
This is scary because people tend to upload the most images from their home or other places they frequent a lot, like work. So if a user's profile is public and their photo map is turned on, anybody can see the exact location of where they are posting. And even if a person's profile is private, but the photo map is enabled, their friends can see all of the location data for each image.To check or change your Instagram location settings, you will have to again change them under the privacy settings in your smartphone. But if you still want to geotag locations sometimes, you will need to keep the location setting turned on, but disable the "Add to Photo Map" feature in Instagram.
Swarm broadcasts your location even if you don't check in
For example, Foursquare's check-in app Swarm broadcasts users' almost exact location even if they have not selected a specific location for check-in.If a user has the 'Neighborhood Sharing' feature is turned on in the app, their location down to the cross streets can be viewed by simply tapping the teardrop icon under their profile image.While a Swarm user might think they are being discreet by just sharing the neighborhood they are in, they are actually sharing a pinpoint of their location.
To stop sharing your exact location on Swarm without checking in, users must disable the 'Neighborhood Sharing' function.
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