Nearly every child in America now has a smart phone. For many parents, it makes it easier to keep track and stay in contact with their children. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones who can track their child’s every move. Technology is also making it easier for strangers to track our children.

Your child’s iPhone has a hidden feature: It tracks and records their location constantly whether you want it to or not. And unless you’re a tech savvy parent, you may think there’s not much you can do about the tracking feature.

But it’s actually quite easy to disable the GPS tracking feature on your child’s iPhone to prevent applications from determining their location. When you disable the GPS, law enforcement officials can still track their device, but other applications, including the Family Locator service offered through both AT&T and Verizon Wireless, cannot.

Here’s how you do it:

Step 1

Press the “Home” button on your iPhone. Enter your four-digit passcode, if prompted.

Step 2

Tap “Settings” and “Location Services.” All of the services currently using the GPS feature of your phone are listed in the bottom panel of the screen.

Step 3

Touch the “Location Services” field to disable GPS tracking. The field now shows “Off.”

Step 4

Press the “Home” button to exit to the phone’s home screen.

Could a stranger on the Internet really track my child’s every move?

Yes — and easily — thanks to an app named Creepy.

All they have to do is type in a person’s Twitter or Flickr username, and hit the ‘Geolocate Target’ button. The app will then gather all the geographic information available online, via photos that the ‘target’ has shared online.

The reason the app can gather this information so easily is that whenever someone shares a photo taken with his or her smartphone, services like Flickr, Yfrog and Twitpic automatically record the location where the shot was taken, and store that geo-tag in the image’s EXIF data. Creepy pulls up that data and places it onto maps. If combined with details gleaned from tweets it can reveal information which could easily be abused by someone with evil intent like:

  • Where your child lives
  • Who else lives there
  • Where they attend school
  • Their route to and from school
  • Certain parks or shopping malls they visit on a regular basis

You might be a little nervous about seeing just how revealing an innocently uploaded photo can be, so you want to know: How do I protect my child?

It’s simple. Check the settings of the apps or websites they use to upload photos. Make sure that the geotagging features are turned off. And if you want to be extra safe, use an app to strip photos of geotags before uploading them such as: Geotag Security http://www.geotagsecurity.com

or Exifer http://download.cnet.com/Exifer/3000-2192_4-10142150.html

Many may think I’m taking an alarmist view of the world, but the truth is that we live in a world full of evil people. And given the fact that many judges and politicians do very little to punish those who would do harm to our children because of prison overcrowding, it is up to parents to make sure that our children remain safe.

Jesus said “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

The serpent is a very sharp sighted, cunning creature, and uses various strategies for its own preservation. So as followers of Christ, we are to make use of all proper methods to preserve ourselves (And our children) from the evils of men, and not expose ourselves or them to unnecessary dangers and to avoid all snares and traps that are laid for us.

Alone, the wisdom of the serpent is mere cunning, and the harmlessness of the dove little better than weakness; but in combination, the wisdom of the serpent will save us from unnecessary exposure to danger; the harmlessness of the dove, the ability to escape without sin.

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