In this Mobile Device Safety lesson, learn all about mobile device security to keep you and your kids safe online.
Adding a location to a Facebook post
Many mobile apps use a feature called geolocation to share your location with others. For example, if you post something using the Facebook mobile app, you can choose to add your location to your post. You can also do this with Foursquare, Twitter, and other apps. Although kids enjoy telling their friends where they are, it may be possible for criminals to use this information to learn about your child's whereabouts.
If you're uncomfortable having your child's location shared, you can turn off location-based services for some or all apps. Keep in mind that some apps (such as maps and directions apps) need to use location-based services, although they are not posting your location where others can see it.
With a mobile device or laptop, you can often connect to the Internet for free when you're at restaurants, stores, parks, and other places. These places are known as Wi-Fi hotspots. Hotspots can be useful, but they are also less secure than your home Internet connection. If your kids are using mobile devices, you'll need to make sure they know how to use Wi-Fi hotspots safely. Let's take a look at some of the most important things to know:
- Check the network: Make sure you are on a legitimate network. Cybercriminals sometimes set up rogue networks with common names like Free Wi-Fi or Public Wi-Fi to get you to connect to illegitimate networks. Ask the hotspot owner for the name and login information for the hotspot you are visiting before you connect.
- Secure your computer: Protect your computer by making sure your firewall is turned on and your antivirus software is up to date.
- Disable automatic connections: Turn your Wi-Fi Connection settings to a manual or non-automatic mode. This will prevent your computer from automatically picking up a signal and connecting to a network before you can determine if it is legitimate or not.
- Disable file sharing: Go to your Network or Sharing settings and disable File and Printer Sharing to prevent others on the network from accessing your files. Depending on your operating system, there may be other sharing settings, like public folder sharing, that should also be turned off.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Make sure you are aware of the people around you when using a hotspot. Keep an eye out for anyone who may be glancing over your shoulder and viewing your private information and activity.
- Never leave your laptop or mobile device unattended: It may be tempting to ask someone to watch your stuff while you get a drink or go to the bathroom, but be aware that your computer is also very tempting to thieves. Consider the loss and ask yourself if it is worth the hassle of carrying it with you.
- Avoid financial transactions: Do not conduct financial transactions like banking or shopping while using public Wi-Fi hotspots.
For more safety tips, check out our Wifi Security lesson.