This is how and when to Share your Location Safely

This is how and when to Share your Location Safely

We’ve been spoilt by location sharing for a while now. Dropping a pin means it is no longer necessary to pass on a strong set of instructions on how to find your exact location. The recent roll out of live location sharing means that is no longer necessary to explain that you’re going to be late as the people you’re meeting can simply track your location as you make your way to them.

Obviously, however, broadcasting your live location creates a number of privacy and security issues that need to be considered before you tell everybody where you are. Other things to consider are the amount of battery power you’re using whilst you’re pinging the world your location and whether the service you’re using is actually up to the task of letting everybody know exactly where you are.

How to share your location safely and effectively

According to the New York Times there are a companies of companies that give you the ability to share your location. We all know about dropping pins using Apple and Facebook services but recently Google have added live location sharing to their Google Maps app and Snapchat has recently added a map function that allows their users to share their location.

How to Share your Live Location on Google Maps

Of all of these services, the Snapchat map is the most controversial due to the relative young age of Snapchat users and the ease with which they can befriend random strangers on the platform. Apple users can share their location live via Apple Maps, Messenger and Find my Friends apps whilst the Facebook live location sharing service is found in its Messenger app.

The New York Times found that the Apple’s Find my Friends app and Facebook’s Messenger offered the quickest and most accurate live location sharing. Google Maps on the other hand, broadcasts your location in bursts of between 5 minutes an hour, to save battery power.

After their testing the New York Times also offer a number of tips on location sharing best practices.

  1. If you’re meeting somebody get into the habit of sharing your location via Apple’s iMessage, Google Maps or Facebook Messenger for a definite amount of time, like an hour. This will stop you having to explain where you are every 5 minutes until you arrive at your destination.
  2. Sharing your location using Apple’s Find My Friends, Facebook Messenger or Google Maps with your romantic partner can allow for smoother communication bewtween the two of you. For example you won’t be ignored for hours if you don’t send them a message because you know they are working or at the gym etc.
  3. Apple’s Find My Friends offers a great way for worried parents to track their children and know that they’re safe.
  4. If you’re meeting friends at an outdoor party or picnic it can be a good idea to share your location so that they don’t have to walk around looking for you when they first arrive.

That last one doesn’t work, however, if you’re meeting indoors, which brings us to best practices on when not to share your location.

  1. Most of these apps are not built for indoor use so they won’t send out an accurate location and they will just waste your battery.
  2. Also, if you’re out hiking in the country your location services might not be up to scratch to the reduced cell service you’ll be getting.
  3. If you have kids you should make sure they’re not sharing their locations strangers or bullies. Both Apple and Android offer parents the ability to restrict the settings their children have access to.
  4. Don’t share your location publicly. It is easy enough to create links that can then be shared with people you trust rather than broadcasting your location to everybody in the world.

Follow me on Twitter: @PatrickDevaney_

Via: The New York Times

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