5 Steps to Safely Sharing Your Location with Friends and Family
Sharing your location with friends and family can be incredibly helpful if you need to get back together after getting separated, or if you’re just trying to help them find the fastest route to your house or meetup spot. There are plenty of great apps out there that make it easy to share your location, but they all have their downsides. Here are 5 steps to safely share your location on an iPhone or Android.
1) How to share your location through iMessage
The most popular way of sharing your location on an iPhone is through iMessages. The process involves sending a message to someone else on the contact list, typing or selecting the message, clicking on share location, then clicking on the Current location. This will share where you are as long as you have your device connected to Wi-Fi or cell service. If you want people who have iMessage enabled on their devices to be able to see where you are no matter what type of phone they have (even if it’s not an iPhone), select Anyone in the final step.
2) How to share your location through the Google Maps app
We want you to feel confident about sharing your location with others on Android or iPhone. You’ve got this!
- Open Google Maps on your phone and tap the blue arrow at the bottom of the screen. This will open up a list of possible places where you can share your location. Tap Your Timeline.
- Then, scroll down a bit more, select an interval time (e.g., Every 30 minutes), and set an end date if desired by tapping End Time under Privacy Settings
- Scroll back up and hit Done in the upper right corner of the screen
3) Other ways to share location
You can also share your location using social media by changing the privacy settings. If you’re really worried about people seeing where you are, Facebook provides an option for that. For instance, if you select the Only Me button for making a post on Facebook, only the person who has access to your profile will be able to see that post. Another social media site where this is possible is Instagram simply post the picture under a private account or set it as Private so that only your followers can see it.
4) Reasons why you shouldn’t use apps like Find My Friends
I try not to use apps like Find My Friends because they have a reputation for running out of storage space, causing them to constantly push alerts. It also has been shown that there is a potential for these apps may jeopardize your safety in the case of an emergency. For example, in May 2017 an Oregon woman got into a domestic violence situation. Her abuser used her phone’s location data to find her and assault her at her friend’s house where she was hiding from him.
5) Tips for safe usage of location-sharing apps
- Try connecting your apps to an existing social media account. You will not be able to set the sharing of your location on a day-to-day basis, but you will know when someone is using your phone, which can provide protection against theft.
- Keep privacy settings at a high level. This means only friends will be able to see your location, and they’ll need to use specific features in order for this setting not to change as a default option. Remember that you can also add family members, coworkers, etc., into groups that are separated by private and public so you’re still able to maintain safe connections without sharing too much information about yourself or others involved in the group chat who might have different levels of interest in the topic being discussed.