19 February 2023

Should you share your location with your family?

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Story by Lauryn Moss.

Sharing your location with loved ones might give you a sense of security. 

Greg Tomchick, partner and CEO of Valor Cybersecurity, said it’s not a bad idea to share your location safely. 

Life360, Google Maps and Apple’s Find My Friends are common applications used to broadcast your location to loved ones.  Recently, the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office said location sharing was an important piece in a homicide investigation of a missing 18-year-old.

"I think it makes us feel a sense of security which we want to feel as a hierarchy of needs,” Tomchick said.

He said it could become a problem, though, by allowing unwanted eyes to have access to your location.  “Just like your family member can track you, someone from the outside that wants to do something malicious can also track you,” he said. "People are trying to take advantage of people they know are easy targets.”

Tomchick said you don’t have to abandon the location-sharing applications. Instead, please turn it off when you don’t need it.

“Make sure you have things you are not using to turn off when you are not using them. That’s going to minimize the ability for you to be attacked,” he said.  He also recommends setting a timer for your location. “Within these apps, you can actually set time windows,” Tomchick said, “so you can make to define time windows that you are tracked.”

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