WARNING! Your Internet activity can be tracked. If the person who is harming you has access to your computer, use a trusted friend's or a computer at the library. If you need immediate assistance, call 911.

Managing Your Online Location Settings

10 October 2017 | 10:35 am

In our series on how to stay safe while using technology, the last newsletter discussed “technology-facilitated stalking.”  (If you missed that article, you can find it by clicking here. )

To follow-up, here are some of the features of major mobile applications (also called apps) that are available, why they can pose a risk to safety, and what to do about it.  

There are far too many social media apps available to discuss them all here.  One thing they have in common is the ability to instantly share your updates with your friends.  This makes communicating with your friends quick and convenient.  However, these apps can pose a potential risk through their privacy settings - which are often difficult to edit and may be sharing information you did not intend. 

Many of the more common apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat tag your location when you make a post or share a photo. This is a great way to communicate with others and share exciting news, but can be problematic if the wrong person is able to see your post, photo, or location.  

Social media uses networks of friendships to share information.  If you post a picture of you enjoying a local concert on the lawn, the friends you have accepted on that platform can see it.  Who can see your information depends on the privacy settings of your account AND your friends’ account. 

Many platforms share the original post when you comment or interact with the post—allowing a larger audience to see the information.   This can branch out to the point where your picture, and sometimes location, can be viewed by a larger, more public audience.   

This poses a safety risk for those who might be preparing to leave an abusive partner, someone being stalked, or someone who has reached safety and now their safety may be compromised. 

There are several resources available to help you check and set your privacy settings on a variety of platforms. For more information about stalking click here.

Click on any of the toolkits below for helpful information on settings and safety:
If you or someone you know is experience stalking or have questions about any form of stalking, call our 24-hour support line: (541) 754-0110 or (800) 927-0197

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