Inconspicuous setting on your iPhone could let anyone see where you've been in seconds, here's the fix

Inconspicuous setting on your iPhone could let anyone see where you've been in seconds, here's the fix
Speaking of privacy, many among us have been forced onto high alert, what with all the various revelations around the NSA and its nasty (not to mention, illegal) snooping practices. But the top spy agency is only part of the problem, as gadget manufacturers need to consistently address vulnerabilities and tighten control, minimizing the possibility of a privacy breach. While effort has definitely been put towards that end, we still occasionally stumble upon features available in smartphones that can be easily exploited by members of the public that are up to no good.

Apple's iOS – the platform that drives your iPhone – has one such potentially dangerous weakness called 'Frequent Locations'. Buried several submenus deep into the settings, this pane stores all your frequently traveled to locations, making it easy for anyone who has access to your phone to find out precisely where and when you were at point A or B. This isn't limited to just your home and work addresses, but also includes places that you often hang out at, especially if you hook up to a local Wi-Fi access point when there. 

This may sound familiar to a few of you – after all, China cried foul back in the summer of 2014, and claimed that such a feature is a national security risk. The reality, however, is that the 'Frequent Locations' tab is still very much alive, and you may be terrified to find out just how easy it is to access it and get a fairly accurate idea of your comings and goings. Since this location data never leaves your device according to Apple, your whereabouts are likely off limits in terms of remote attacks, but anyone with access to your device can potentially use this to stalk you.

Find below step-by-step information on how you can find the inconspicuous 'Frequent Locations' tab and how you can turn it off.

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6 Comments

1. Scott93274

Posts: 6021; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

So this is only an issue if you're careless with your phone and someone gets their filthy little mitts on it? And where I've been is the least of my worries if someone has access to my phone, I would be more worried about someone logging into my Google+ account and give themselves permission to track my current position using my device (Which is a great feature if you have kids and want to know why it takes them so long to walk home from school).

14. Doakie

Posts: 2456; Member since: May 06, 2009

15. Scott93274

Posts: 6021; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Old article, though I never read that before. I guess that's why it takes forever for your iDevice to get shipped to your location and why the routing of the package always takes it some insanely obscure route. lol

9. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Ps Chris... it's your iPhone couLd let anyone ;)

11. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

Well, that's embarrassing.

16. AlikMalix unregistered

I actually use this feature because I work at different locations every week - iOS remembers these locations if I frequent more than once and when I ask Siri how long will it take to get to work or check out notifications tab it will tell me each morning. This info stays on my phone (no cloud or Apple severs) and adjusts to my projects within 2 or three visits (I'm actually impressed how well it works due to such a random schedule and locations that I visit). I'm not sure if android has this, but iOS shows if you are being tracked by app or feature (or have been tracked) on top taskbar next to battery meter. You can also tell any app that asks for tracking to only track when using the app instead of allowing it in background as well. Yes it's a security risk of you disable the pin/pattern lock, but then, everything is on your phone if u do that. And a lot of people never password protected their phones (Apple and android) due to the annoyance of unlocking it 50-100 times a day - you have no idea how much I appreciate Touch ID.

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