Can you track anyone with a small device?
Among the latest technologies to come on the market in the past few years, we’ve been seeing a lot of talk about tiny tracking devices. The manufacturers of devices like TrackR advertise them as easy ways to keep track of your belongings. For example, you could attach one of these devices to your keys so that you’ll be able to find them no matter where you put them down. With this kind of device, the age-old question of, “Honey, where’s the remote?” could be answered in seconds.
However, there are other things to consider when looking at a device like this. These are very small devices. In fact, they really have to be small and lightweight if they’re going to be effective. After all, would you ever consider putting a giant, heavy piece of cumbersome tech on your phone just because it’ll help you keep better track of it? And most people want their keys to fit in their pockets and purses without weighing them down.
As a result, manufacturers of devices like TrackR, Retrievor, and others have created tracking devices that are no larger than a quarter. You can easily attach one to your keys, wallet, or phone without adding a lot of bulk, and that’s great… But what about attaching one of these devices to a person?
Tracking Made Easy with Tiny GPS Devices
Law enforcement already uses GPS trackers to keep track of people who are under house arrest. Now, with technology like this, you could potentially do the same, or someone else could do it to you. Consider how often you find change in your pockets or in your purse. You don’t even notice it because it’s small and commonplace. What if someone wanted to keep track of where you go and what you do every day?
If they can get close to you once, they can slip a tracking device onto your person and potentially follow you digitally wherever you go, for as long as the device is working. Of course, they would have to place it in such a way that you wouldn’t shed the tracker as soon as you got home, but this is still an interesting and somewhat frightening concept.
Until recently, you could rest assured that at least these GPS trackers would eventually stop functioning when their batteries died. However, Retrievor claims to have made the first self-charging GPS tracker on the market. Thus, if they placed the tracker on your vehicle, in your briefcase, in your purse, or in some other place where it could remain undiscovered for a period of time, they could potentially track you indefinitely.
Keeping Track of Your Kids and Loved Ones
While the concept of someone tracking you without your knowledge is somewhat worrisome, we can at least rest assured that these devices are large enough to detect fairly easily. At the same time, there are some ways to use them that could potentially enhance your safety.
Consider that you could put one in or on your child’s backpack when they go to school. Then you’ll know where they are at all times of the day, even when you cannot be there. Likewise, you could carry one with you when you travel for work so that your spouse will know where you are in case of an emergency.
Small GPS trackers are simultaneously exciting and a little bit frightening. When used appropriately, they can be convenient and may even enhance your safety. When used by the wrong people, though, they put you in a dangerous situation. What do you think of these GPS tracking devices?
Three Potentially Dangerous Things You Need to Know About Social Networking
Social media and social networking have become an integral part of our lives over the last few years. In fact, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Snapchat have become so widely used that it is uncommon to meet someone who doesn’t have a presence on at least one (if not all) of these networks.
We’ve grown so accustomed to posting text, pictures, and videos of our lives, and to checking in wherever we go on social media, that it’s easy to forget about some potentially serious dangers associated with these online tools. Let’s take a moment to consider a few of the most common social networking dangers that you could be exposing yourself to every day when you log on.
Advertising Your Location to Criminals
First of all, how often do you see friends check in to a destination on Facebook or Instagram? This might seem like a purely innocent practice that lets them keep their friends and followers up to date on what they’re doing, but it can actually be very dangerous.
For example, consider your friend who checks in at the airport when he goes on vacation and writes in his post, “Off to the mountains for a whole week!” He just told everyone who can see his post that he is away from home and that he won’t be back for an entire week. Thieves and home invaders look for opportunities like these, so instead of checking in and posting all of your pictures while you’re on vacation, why not wait a few days and post that stuff when you get back?
Likewise, if you regularly check in at the gym, the grocery store, your favorite park, and other areas, you’re basically creating a profile and a roadmap for stalkers and others who mean you harm. Don’t over-share your location information, and you’ll be much safer.
Using Social Media at Work
Of course, not all dangers are physical. Using social media on your work computer, unless it is a part of your job or you have specific permission to do so, can get you in a lot of trouble. Even if you don’t use company computers to do it, posting from your phone while you’re at work leaves evidence that you were not engaged with your job while you were on company time. That could get you in just as much trouble as posting from a work computer.
Posting Sensitive Information
Finally, you may be thinking, “But I’ve checked my privacy settings. I’m only friends with people I trust. Bad guys can’t see my check-ins, and I’m not friends with anyone from work on social media.” Be aware that your social media accounts may not be as secure as you think. Also, if you have second-degree connections (“friend of a friend”) with people from work, there is still a high likelihood that the wrong person could see a post you made about how much you hate your job or something else that you don’t want your boss to know about.
Likewise, you never want to post compromising or sensitive information of any kind on social media. Your home address, information about your job search, pictures of your kids’ school, and other posts like these could, at the very least, make your employer think twice about giving you a good review this year, or at worst, put you and your family in danger.
Be aware of how you use social media, and, when in doubt, don’t post anything that you think could potentially cause problems or put you in danger.