Keeping safe, secure and on the DL in the smartphone age

May 22, 2012

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Somebody’s watching you, and you might be partially to blame.  One of the biggest invaders of your personal privacy is the one item you feel you can’t live without:  your smartphone.

Sometimes, the reason you're exposed is because you’ve opted in on social surveillance by using apps that intentionally let people know what you're up to, and where you’re hangin’.  But there are other times when it’s the features on these applications and phones – features that you might not even be aware of – that are allowing people to track your day-by-day, or even moment-by-moment whereabouts.

There are, for some, times when we want people in on what we’re up to – just think of apps like Foursquare or Find My Friends, or think of the prolific posters in your world who regularly post to Facebook and Twitter a trail of their comings and goings.  But what about when you want to go below the radar?  Even if you’re not into broadcasting your whereabouts to the social networks that be, you might still be trackable (and not just by the Men in Black).

Joining The Afternoon Shift to help take us somewhat off the grid, and help us cover up our mobile tracks, is Jacqui Cheng.  In her recent article in Ars Technica, she looks at some methods people have used to stalk others via their iPhones, and at what you can do to protect your privacy against both harmless (albeit nosey) busybodies, and more threatening (and frightening) stalkers.  Cheng’s colleague Casey Johnston wrote the Android counterpart to this piece.