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Archive for the ‘geolocation’ Category

9 ways to stay safe online this summer

July 17th, 2014 No comments

Summer is in full swing. Here are our best safety and security tips for the season.

  1. Don’t broadcast vacation plans on your social networking sites. If you’re leaving your home unoccupied and at risk for potential burglary, you might want to wait to post your vacation photographs until you return home. Get more tips for email and social networking safety.

  2. Limit who knows your location. Before you go on vacation, take a few minutes to adjust settings for sharing your location on your social networking sites and any apps on your smartphone. If you have kids who go online, make sure they know this, too. For more information, see Use location services more safely.

  3. Set computer and device rules for when you’re not around. If your kids are old enough to stay home alone when they’re not at school, make sure you talk to them about Internet safety. Download our tip sheet for pointers to jump-start—or continue—online safety conversations.

  4. Learn how to use parental controls. All Microsoft products include built-in privacy controls and safeguards that put you in charge of your children’s entertainment experiences and allow you to customize how personal information is, or is not, shared. Get step-by-step guidance on how to switch on safety settings across Microsoft technology and devices at home.

  5. Stay safe when playing games online. If your children’s summer sport of choice is the Xbox, Xbox One, Kinect, or other online or console game, learn about the core family safety features of Xbox One and find other ways to help kids play it safe.

  6. Update your software on your laptop or tablet. Before you go on vacation, make sure all your software is updated, to help prevent problems caused by hackers. If your laptop is still running Windows XP, read about the end of support for Windows XP.

  7. Check the security level of public Wi-Fi networks before you use them. Choose the most secure connection—even if that means you have to pay for access. A password-protected connection (ideally one that is unique for your use) is better than one without a password. Both Windows 7 and Windows 8 can help you evaluate and minimize network security risks.

  8. Avoid typing sensitive information on your laptop using an unsecured wireless connection. If possible, save your financial transactions for after your summer vacation on a secured home connection. For more information, see How to know if a financial transaction is secure.

  9. Watch out for suspicious messages from your friends on vacation asking for money. This is a common scam cybercriminals use when they’ve hacked into someone’s account. Find a different way to contact your friend. Learn more about scam email messages.

Mobile safety tips for back to school

September 4th, 2012 No comments

Are you sending your child back to school with a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet PC?

Director of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Communications, Jacqueline Beauchere, offers these tips:

  • Set clear use limits for kids on their mobile phones.
  • Lock kids’ phones with a personal identification number (PIN), and keep the PIN secret—even from “best” friends.
  • Tell kids to avoid clicking links in advertisements, contest pages, text messages, or posts on social networking sites.
  • If you use a family location service to monitor your children’s whereabouts, make sure those outside the immediate family can’t locate them. Otherwise, consider disabling the location feature on the phone or, at the very least, turn off the feature in the phone’s camera.

More resources

Why location services matter

May 15th, 2012 No comments

Mobile services (often called “geolocation” services) now have the ability to track and share our location with friends.  Location positioning services can help you find local movie times, weather, or directions to the nearest coffee shop. They can also help you find out where your friends are. But you might have privacy concerns about who else is looking at this information.

You can take a few basic steps to help ensure that you don’t expose your personal information to strangers.

  • Pay attention to the settings that use your location. You should always have choice and control over access and use of your device’s location. Consider turning off features that add location information (also called “geotagging”) in your tweets, blogs, or social network accounts. Learn how to turn off location services in all Windows Phone applications. You can turn them back on whenever you want.
  • Share your location only with those you trust. For example, in a service like Facebook Places, create a separate list of your closest friends. Use privacy controls to restrict access to location status updates, messages, and photos.
  • If you use a family location service to monitor your kids’ whereabouts, make sure others cannot locate them. Otherwise, consider disabling the location feature on your child’s phone—at the very least, turn it off in the phone’s camera.

Get more guidance about how to use location services more safely.

We know where you are: Geolocation security tips

June 21st, 2011 No comments

You can use your smartphone and location services (also known as “geolocation”) to post information about where you are at any given time. But before you use geolocation, you might want to consider these safety tips:

  • Share your location only with people you trust. For example, in a service like Facebook Places, create a separate list of your closest friends. Use privacy controls to restrict access to location status updates, messages, and photos to those people who are on your list.
  • Disable the option that allows others to share your location.
  • Set your location data so that it’s not publicly available or searchable.

For more information about the risks and rewards of using geolocation, see Use location services more safely.