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Geolocation causes Brits to worry about personal security

Forty percent use geolocation services on their mobile

Nearly two in five (39 percent) of Brits use geolocation tools on their mobile phone, says Webroot.

Geolocation services work with a GPS-enabled smartphone to let you share your location with others on social networks such as Facebook and Foursqaure.

Research by the security firm revealed over half of mobile phone owners that use geo-location tools are very or extremely concerned about maintaining personal privacy when using the technology. Furthermore, 41 percent are aware and very or extremely concerned that using geolocation services lets potential burglars know when they are not at home.

Webroot also revealed 46 percent of women are highly concerned about letting a stalker know where they are via geolocation tools, compared to only 27 percent of men, while one in 11 Brits that use geolocation applications have met a stranger through such services.

Nearly a third (32 percent) of Brits that use a geo-location tool said they plump for Google Latitude, while a quarter use Flickr, 20 percent prefer Google Buzz and 18 percent use Twitter Location.

"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 theqWeb," said Jeff Horne, director of Threat Research at Webroot

"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."

Webroot advises mobile phone owners worried about geolocation services to turn of the GPS photo-tagging or locate me features on their handsets and never to post anything to a social network they wouldn't want the world to see.

See also: Geolocation, your privacy & the future of social networking


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