An article posted on BikeRadar today implicated GPS data sharing in a string of bike thefts in the UK recently. The gist of the article is that thieves can use shared data to track the riding habits of people, especially when your home is the start/finish point.
How can you secure your shared GPS data? A couple of ways will work.
- Lock down your sharing settings on your chosen data sharing site so only friends or those invited can view your activities.
- If you post your activities to Twitter, Facebook, or G+, secure your profile so only your friends (or a subgroup of friends that you trust) can see those posts.
- Do not start/finish your rides at your house, and if you do, don’t activate your GPS within a couple blocks of your house.
- Some sites like Strava let you set a buffer around locations you would like to keep private. Set at least one for your home and possibly others for work, friends’ houses, or anywhere else you might visit frequently that thieves could use to target your bike.
As with anything you share online, be careful about the details you choose to share and who you share them with. Secure your social media pages. We all know the “Friend Collectors” who don’t know most of the people they share with in social media. Be choosy who you include in those lists. As we see here, “oversharing” can have serious repercussions.