The Dangers of Keeping Location Settings On

April 16, 2021

The Dangers of Keeping Location Settings On

Tons of apps will ask for location permissions to be turned on, and it may seem harmless, but these settings may lead to some major security risks.

Some common apps that request location permissions are maps, Find My Friends, and tracking for lost devices. 

Another area that often requests your location is the realm of social media platforms. Easy tagging of places you visit can be fun, but it could also be dangerous.

As well, if your location settings are on for your camera app, each photo you take will have a tagged location attached to it. This can be a great way to remember exactly where and when you took that photo, however, if these photos are sent out or stolen, the person on the other end can see where you’ve been and the exact times you were there. 

Sometimes we send photos to people we don’t know very well, for example, when we sell things online. Sharing photos may expose much more information than you realize.

So, although it is convenient to have location settings turned on for all apps, it’s important to think about the information these apps and photos are collecting. If that information gets into the wrong hands, you could end up as a target for cybercrime.

Should I Keep My Location Settings Off?

When you open an app for the first time and you are prompted for location permissions, you are sometimes given an option for sharing one time or indefinitely.

We recommend only sharing your location temporarily or only while using the app. This will reduce the amount of data an app can collect on you and your location. 

About privacy and Location Services in iOS and iPadOS - Apple Support


If you can, try to keep your location settings turned off.

When you choose to share your location indefinitely, you typically won’t be asked again and many people don’t realize that old apps and sites are still gathering location data on an ongoing basis. 

In many cases, this isn't a severe issue, however, cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to compromise your data. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

Know your risks and practice safe cyber hygiene so you can avoid potential cyber risks in the future. 

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