Route Mapping Apps and the Risks They Involve

Smartphone apps have become truly sophisticated, offering great conveniences to their users. Among them, we find the route mapping apps that allow tracking users down and providing them with a great many options.

They can publish their routes and share them with friends on social media or inform others on a specific destination and so on. However, all this freedom does not come cheap. Indeed, there are online hazards that ought to be taken seriously. It is true that with such apps, a lot of information is shared and perhaps this fact gets underestimated.

By allowing too much info to be shared online, we instantly put ourselves to greater risks that we are supposed to. In other words, people may find out more about us than we would have hoped them to know. Imagine tracking your bicycle route and informing others about the place of your start and finish line. This place, especially when being the same for both ends, reveals your current location. Well, even if this sounds harmless, it isn’t. It can trigger quite negative consequences.

A fitness and router app for cyclers has been the cause of targeted thefts, since the information shared via this app resulted in gathering sensitive data about the location of the expensive bikes in the area. These burglars were not the only ones who have found the flaw in the information sharing.

There is of course the option of using a privacy zone. If you do not know what this is, there is the example of the fitness app called Strava. In this case, you hide the information that includes your starting point and your finish line. So, the problem seems to be resolved.

The truth is far from it, though. With the repetition of the concealment of specific locations, the information gradually reveals itself. So, even though you may aim at hiding your information, this information remains out there for the right (or to be more precise, the wrong) people to benefit from.

The same goes for other apps, which offer conveniences such as your specific location at a traffic jam. You are glad that the app offers you a way out of the traffic congestion, but in the long run a lot of info that should not get out actually does.

In order to balance between the practical character of route mapping apps and your own privacy, be sure to realize the amount of data shared at a time. If you do something with your own consent and understanding the risks, it’s fine. If not, limit your use and seek something else. Be vigilant as far as your online privacy is concerned and enjoy the advantages of smartphones and wearables!

Image from Pixabay

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