Anytime we use any social networking website such as Facebook, we give up some of our privacy. But this is especially true when we use a social network, such as Foursquare, whose primary purpose is to tell our friends where we are. This article discusses some of the security issues users should be aware of if they use Foursquare.
The Risks Inherent to Broadcasting Your Location
If you use Foursquare to check into a business more than any other person during a set period of time, you become the “mayor” of this business. This usually means that you are at this venue a lot. While usually only your friends know where you are, anyone who figures out your Foursquare name can access your profile page and figure out what venues you are the mayor of. If someone accesses your Facebook account, and if you post your Foursquare information on your Facebook page, they could easily figure out where you are most of your time.
This puts your location privacy at risk, and you could be the target of someone who wants to know when you are not at home so they can rob you. Also, Foursquare can easily let anyone know where you are at any time. If you have ever been a harassment or stalker victim, Foursquare could easily let these people know where you are.
When people check in with Foursquare, they have the option of sending their check-ins to Twitter. If you choose this option, anyone who has access to your tweets knows exactly where you are, and could retweet your location.
Foursquare Security Settings
Foursquare has recently updated their security settings, and they now allow you much more control over how your personal information is broadcasted to friends and the rest of the foursquare community.
The User Settings page allows you to see the privacy controls and options you have regarding which information you would like to keep private and which information you want to share. These settings are located here.
For more information about Foursquare privacy issues and frequently asked questions, go here.