Modern technology has advanced to the point that it’s now a common saying that the phone in your pocket is a far more powerful computer than the one on board Apollo 11 during its historic lunar mission. It’s true that at any point, your smartphone knows exactly where you are as long as the GPS function is enabled, and many apps installed on your phone use that information, sometimes without you knowing. While it can be useful in the event that your phone goes somewhere without you, there are times when accessing your location can be dangerous.
GPS systems were first mandated by the federal government so that in the event that you dialed 911, first responders would be able to find you. 911 operators have access to data from GPS satellites, Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular networks. This serves a useful function, and some apps, such as Google Maps, can’t function without location services operating. There are times, however, when an app uses (and shares) your location when it’s not appropriate.
Some common nonessential uses of your location information involve social media and photo sharing apps. Apps and services can track your every move, and even sometimes, a webpage you visit in a browser window will ask for your location for marketing purposes. This can lead to annoying ads, and having location services constantly on can use up your battery life faster. On top of minor nuisances, social media apps, such as Facebook and Foursquare can share your location with anyone who has access to your page. If you’ve ever been a victim of harassment or domestic violence, you’re aware of the dangers associated with inadvertently sharing information.
While many functions that require your location services to be on are useful, it’s important to use your best judgment when allowing it every time. Also, if you upgrade the operating system on your phone, your settings will most likely reset, so you’ll have to go back and reset your preferences. For more information on how to manage your location services, go to http://www.igeeksblog.com/how-to-completely-switch-off-location-services-in-ios-8.