…and so do privacy implications
• 39 percent of mobile device users use location-tracking applications on their mobile devices
• Over half (55 percent) worry over loss of privacy incurred from using geolocation
• 11 percent of UK social network users indicated to deleting one of their social network accounts due to concerns over privacy settings
More and more people are revealing their exact location on the Internet or being tracked via geolocation
applications installed onto their mobile devices, increasing their chances of being targeted by Internet security attacks, according to new research commissioned by Webroot, a leading provider of Internet security software for the consumer, enterprise and SMB markets.
Surveying more than 1,500 social network users who own geolocation-ready mobile devices, Webroot found that 39 percent indicated to using geolocation on their mobile devices and 73 percent of those use a geo-tracking application to do so. Among those, more than a quarter used location-based services to
share their whereabouts with strangers, and 14 percent use one to meet new people.
Of the UK respondents, Google Latitude (32 percent) was the most commonly used geo-location tool, followed by Yahoo’s Flickr (25 percent), Google Buzz (20 percent) and Twitter Location (18 percent). Other rapidly growing location-based services such as Foursquare and Gowalla encourage users to share their current locations by ’checking-in’, and in return they are rewarded by earning points or they receive discounts offered by nearby retailers.
Jeff Horne, Director of Threat Research, Webroot, said “as location-based applications continue to gain popularity, we should all be increasingly aware of what cyber-criminals can do with the huge amount of personal data that is being shared by everyone on the Web.
“People often get excited about the new features available on social networks and forget about the power of the Internet and the amount of valuable information they give away through the simple act of updating their status and ‘checking-in’ at their current location.”