How to make sure criminals can't access a digital blueprint to your daily routine

Posted at 12:28 PM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 09:57:27-04

If you own an iPhone or Android device, chances are your phone is tracking your every move. In fact, it is storing the location, date and time of nearly everywhere you visit. 

“Wow, I didn’t know that,” said Anne McGregor. 

That was the reaction from many when we showed them exactly where they’ve been in the last 24 hours. 

“I suppose that’s my own fault if someone takes my phone and I have that enabled, said Allison Brown. "I should be a better consumer.” 

If a criminal gets a hold hold your phone, you could be giving them a blueprint where you live, work and even where your family members are. 

“I cut it off because I was uncomfortable having my movements tracked by who knows who,” said Bill Carriger, who already knew about the feature. 

When we met Bill Carriger, he already had the tracking service cut off. 

For those who don’t, it's pretty simple. 

On iPhone: Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services (at the bottom), then scroll down to Significant Locations. That's where you can turn on or off the location tracker, and it won’t interfere with the other fucntions of your GPS. 

On Android: Go to Settings > Network Connections > Locations, then go to Google Location History. That's what you turn on and off to control the feature. 

“I’d like to think it was created for a reason and there is a positive purpose for it,” said Brown. 

Apple says they use the information to provide personalized services like assisting in recommending nearby restaurants or to automatically adjust to a new time zone based on your location. 

If you want to keep the feature, but want to take steps to secure the information, it's important to set up fingerprint access on your phone. In its settings, you can require your phone to ask for a fingerprint scan before authorizing a purchase or downloading an app. It also requires fingerprint authorization to change or access certain setting (like this one).

Another suggestion would be to make your passcode six digits instead of four or going without one, and make it complex. Never create a code that is easy for someone to guess. For example, if your birthday is July 20, 1987, don't make your passcode 072087. Same goes for children's birthdays, home address and things like that. 

For people like McGregor, it's a service she says she will do without. 

“Everything that I hear about the internet, privacy, hacking, everything like that, my expectation of privacy is not what it use to be,” said McGregor.