I’m not sure why the Facebook Places warning is circulating around Facebook again, but it is. The warning that’s going around this time is written in a rather panic-inciting tone, but as far as I can tell, Facebook places is the same as it was already. The warning makes it sound almost like just using Facebook is enough to give away your location. You actually have to use Facebook Places for it to show where you are. However, your friends can use Facebook Places and tag you (showing that you’re at X location also.) If you don’t want to use Facebook Places and/or don’t want your friends to be able to check you into a place, there are three privacy settings you need to change.
- This video from LifeHacker is very short and easy and shows the three different settings to check: How to Disable Facebook Places
- Here’s information about what Facebook Places is/does: Facebook Places
HOWEVER: There’s one more thing that people who are concerned about giving away their locations should know about. And that’s geotagging. Geotagging on smart phones allows people to use apps like Foursquare (and I’m sre that’s what Facebook Places is using.) Geotagging imbeds the actual GPS coordinates of your location to an image taken with your cell phone. Some people use that to upload pics and attach them to a map. However, if you take a picture of something in your home, geotagging is turned on, and you upload that picture to facebook or twitter — that picture includes embedded geotagging, giving away the exact location of your home.
For more information about Geotagging:
- Geotagging Your Photos Is Easy And Fun But You Have To Be Careful @ ABC15.com
- Celebrity Stalking: How Online Photos, Videos Give Away Their Location @ ABCNEWS.go.com
- When You Let Twitter Track You, ICanStalkU @ TechGoesStrong.com
That middle news report addressed how you can turn geotagging off, but if you do, your smart phone won’t be able to access maps to help you find the nearest gas station or driving directions. You might choose to only turn the geotagging on when you need GPS assistance. Or you might leave it on and just use discretion about which places you check into and where you upload pictures taken on your cell phone. Either way, it just takes a little bit of paying attention and then you’re not putting yourself at risk.