Posts Tagged privacy
With a user base that now tops 3 million, Foursquare is quickly turning into a top player in the social media industry. Over and over again I hear the same complaint: how can I protect my privacy when I’m always sharing my current location? Won’t this open me up to being stalked or having my house robbed? The answer to those questions? No… but there are a few steps you need to take in order to fully protect your privacy:
1. Only accept people you trust as friends.
As a Foursquare user, you’re bound to get friend requests from people you have never met. Anyone who is following you on Twitter can easily find your Foursquare account, and if you are like me, you may have a lot of Twitter followers but do not wish to share your location with all of them. I would suggest that if you are worried about privacy, only accept requests from people you would fully trust knowing your location.
2. Do not list your home as a venue.
This is one of the most important steps you need to follow in order to fully protect your privacy. Checking-in on Foursquare may let people know you aren’t at home, but they can’t rob you if they don’t know where you live. Foursquare has recently implemented changes that prevent homes from showing up unless you have checked-in there before or if you are really close to that venue. This may remove venue clutter when checking-in, but it doesn’t protect your privacy.
3. Check your privacy settings on Foursquare.
You can check your current privacy settings by going to http://foursquare.com/settings. From here you can control whether you share your check-ins with Twitter and Facebook; read the next point for a better description of how this affects your privacy. One of the most important things to take note of on this page is your phone number and email address. You can choose to share either of these with your Foursquare friends. If you are concerned about privacy, be sure to turn these options off.
4. Be aware of your settings on Facebook and Twitter.
If you are sharing your Foursquare check-ins on Twitter and/or Facebook, you need to be aware of your privacy settings on those websites. If your Twitter account is unprotected and you publish your check-ins, everyone who looks at your tweets will have access to your location. Depending on who you share your status updates with on Facebook, you could possibly be allowing unwanted people to have access to your location. Here is my suggestion: don’t publish every check-in. Only share your check-ins at large public venues and events, and you will have a lot less to worry about.
I know it seems a little strange to mention the words “Foursquare” and “Privacy” in the same title since the application is all about sharing your location with others, but there are some steps you can take to help minimize privacy and security concerns.