Women urged to turn off 'creepy' Instagram location feature ASAP
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@katiebradenpr
Women are being urged to turn off a little-known 'creepy' location feature on Instagram that could be putting their safety in serious danger.
While the app's location tagging feature is popular, what few people don't know is that it can give people access to your 'Precise Location' if you're not careful.
The feature is enabled automatically with location services, so you could be at risk and have absolutely no idea.
Sharing screenshots of how to switch it off, one female Twitter user, Ellie, warned: "Go to settings and the specific apps section and turn off precise location, it allows other people (criminals!) to see your exact location even when you only tag say “london”, i turned it off for instagram, bereal, snapchat, facebook & uber [sic]."
everyone especially london ppl! go to settings and the specific apps section and turn off precise location, it allows other people (criminals!) to see your exact location even when you only tag say “london”, i turned it off for instagram, bereal, snapchat, facebook & uber pic.twitter.com/WAur1zo07l— ellie ♡⋆.ೃ࿔* (@ellielovesdilfs) August 24, 2022
Ellie went on to reveal that she'd allegedly heard stories about people having their homes and cars broken into as a result of the feature, but it remains relatively unknown.
Another woman, Meg, warned of the dangers of the feature, describing it as 'creepy AF'.
Those with iPhones, especially women. Go into your settings>Instagram>location and then turn precise location OFF. That’s creepy AF that it’s auto turned on.— Meg (@meggshateseggs) August 24, 2022
Writing as a woman, I can confirm that the 'Precise Location' feature was enabled on my Instagram account, and I was completely oblivious to its existence.
Needless to say, it's now been switched off.
The feature itself reads: "Allows apps to use your specific location. With this setting off, apps can only determine your approximate location."
Tyla has reached out to Meta for comment.
However, while Instagram is predominately being criticised by social media users for this feature, it exists on many apps that enables location services, including Facebook.
Jake Moore, a cybersecurity specialist at ESET, said that smartphone users need to 'treat all of their apps independently' when it comes to location services.
He told Forbes: "Location tracking is something that I have never been comfortable with, especially within apps that genuinely have no requirement to make the app function more advantageously."
One social media user also suggested that the apps need more safety features.
They wrote: "@instagram & @Snapchat need to add a feature that allows your story upload to be delayed by 30+ mins.
"Lot's of people/celebs/influencers being robbed because they are posting online, making them easy targets... especially when everyone geo tags their location."
But it's not just on apps themselves when location services can be problematic, they can also be an issue when taking photographs.
The eSafety Commissioner recommends that you turn off geotagging, which tags the location of your pictures, if you don't want your exact location at the time of taking known.