Print this article

Location based services and activities

A map on a mobile device

Most modern mobile devices come with built in location based services and other GPS enabled apps to help us in our everyday lives. Find out how you can minimise personal risk by not giving out too much information about where you are.

WebWise Team | 10th October 2012

To celebrate Get Online Week (15th - 21st October) we've created six films to help you make the most of being online using your mobile phone or tablet device.

If the app knows where you are, who else does?

It looks like you don't have Flash enabled on your computer. To view all the videos, tools and games on this website you will need to install the Flash player.

For information on how to do this, please visit the BBC WebWise guide to downloading Flash

Five simple steps you can follow when using location based services
1. Look carefully at the app before you download it. Check the comments and ratings so that you can gauge other people's experiences.
2. Each time you download a new app check the information it is asking for access to. Not all apps need to know where you are so think carefully before giving permission.
3. If you are posting to a social media site that can pick up your location consider if you want other people to know where you are or where you've been.
4. If you are ever in doubt, trust your instincts. It's best to check with your service provider if there's anything you're uncertain about.
5. Remember, you're in charge. If you proceed with caution you can enjoy the benefits of these services with much reduced risks.

What else can I do?

Find out from your location based service what privacy and security controls are available and make sure you use them.

There are some great tips on the Get Safe Online website which you will find links to in the 'Elsewhere on the web' box on the right.

Learn about using apps with our interactive guide.


The WebWise 'W'

WebWise Team

WebWise was first launched in 1998 and since then has helped people of all ages to learn about and love the internet.