Location Services — Should you Turn it On or Not?

Are you like me, who was confused because people said all different things about location services? Somebody said it is good to keep it turned on to keep ourselves safe, but someone else said we should turn off location services to avoid being tracked. All sorts of news and information are going around, making us more confused daily.

That is why we write this article to educate you about the good and bad side of location services and what is the best time to keep it turned off or on for safety purposes.

Benefits of having Location Services Turned on

Let’s start with the benefits first because we should always be positive.

  • Safety and Security

Suppose you are traveling from city A to city B, and you encounter a car crash, and you or someone you know need immediate medical assistance. Worst case scenario, there are no Data Signals on your location, so you can’t alert anyone. However, if your location services are turned on, they will immediately be notified and come to your aid.

Another example is elders who always need to be supervised but demand to be left alone in a place. With their cellphone’s location services turned on, you can easily track their location to keep them safe.

Location services are also important when there has been a financial theft from your account. With the location reports, you can immediately inform your financial institution of your location so they can register the financial robbery and report it to law enforcement agencies

  • Relevant Content

With your location services turned on, it will show you relevant content on the internet, like current news about your region, important media content, traffic information, or the best dining options in your city.

  • Travel Guide

Traveling makes you rely solely on your smartphone to check multiple things. It could be the nearest hotel, best restaurants, taxi/bus services, train routes, or simply notifying your family and friends about your whereabouts. While traveling, you need to turn on your location services to make the best of your holiday place.

Like a caretaker, location services help to inform google so you can get everything on your traveling plan. In case of emergencies, it is best to keep the location turned on while you travel.

Dangers of Location Services

Location services can prove to be of help as you may run into problems regarding your safety. But it is recommended to keep an eye on the feature to protect your well-being. This is because there can be many hazards in keeping location services turned on. Down below, you can read about what you can encounter if you need to take notice of when to turn off your location.

  • Free Wi-Fi

Any smartphone allows public Wi-Fi to record the location for future access if you’re in the range again. So, if you connect to a free or public Wi-Fi, you are at risk of danger by allowing your location to be tracked.

Cybercriminals can easily trace your location to hack into your personal information. It can be a big risk if your location services are turned on and you allow public Wi-Fi to access your location. In addition to this free Wi-Fi can put you in severe security risk but you can use a VPN for travel as it won’t show your actual location to ISP or if there is any fake Wi-Fi service provider.

  • Sting Rays

This name is given to the fake cell towers set up by cybercriminals. It’s not a tower per se, but it is a tech piece that emits way more signals than actual cell towers that the government puts up.

The fake cell towers, AKA sting rays, trick your phone into thinking well of its authenticity. Then, even if you do not agree, your phone immediately connects to it and gives away your location and IP. This mimicry is practiced by criminals and law enforcement officers to catch suspicious activity.

Many violent crimes have been prevented by this practice, which makes this a good thing. But we should keep in mind that danger is everywhere. For example, if we’re near a sting ray set up by criminals, we might get our information compromised. Likewise, we could find our precious data on the dark web if not careful.

  • Infected Device

If you have location services turned on and connected your device anywhere, be it free Wi-Fi or a Bluetooth connection, or you charge your phone to a public charging outlet, you might risk your mobile data. Things like ‘free,’ ‘public,’ or ‘best’ doesn’t sit well with technologies because you’re in for a data breach.

Suppose you charge your phone with a public charging outlet and suddenly notice your phone’s battery keeps draining and overheats quickly; you need to check your phone. As it could be a risk of spyware or malware, your entire information, including financial credentials, could be stolen.

Protect your Phone with One Simple Trick

Location services can be helpful but also a dangerous feature to be turned on. One slip-up and your entire credentials are in the hands of malicious criminals. They trade your information for money on the dark web, or they may hold a grudge against you and bring your entire business down. Even if you don’t have a business, you could be robbed of your identity as these criminals pose as you to ruin your relationship with people.

You don’t need to panic. We can protect ourselves from these malicious activities. With all these technological advancements, we are also provided countless apps and services to save our personal information online.

You can hide your identity with a Virtual Private Network (VPN, as you may know). A VPN will mask your IP address so no cybercriminal can access it. Plus, before turning on a VPN, you will be requested to turn off your location services to provide a foolproof IP address.

Bijoy Pal

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