Social Media

Are You Sharing Your Location On Facebook Without Knowing? [Weekly Facebook Tips]

Angela Randall 16-04-2014

Have you been giving your stalkers your address inadvertently? Take a look and find out.


Even if you think you’ve got all your privacy settings How To Control Your Privacy With The Facebook Timeline While the new Facebook timeline looks fantastic, there are a few privacy concerns worth keeping in mind. For most people, certain things will need adjusting before you can be completely sure that your posts aren't... Read More properly in place on Facebook, you may be surprised to find a big privacy breach in the form of your Facebook Places map. What’s even scarier is that if you’re using your smartphone to upload photos you might accidentally be giving all of your Facebook friends the exact location of your house, your office and where your kids go to school. It might be worth checking this out.


What’s On Your Facebook Map?

Your Places map has all sorts of information on it, including photos with a tagged location, any updates you or your friends tagged you in with a tagged location, plus the location of anything Facebook knows about you. For instance, on my map you can see a little academic cap marking where I got my degree. It’s quite scary how much information people could piece together with all these locations put together on a map.


Basic Map Removal

If this has you worried, the first thing you might do is to hide your map. It’s a start, anyway. To simply turn off your map, head to your About page and scroll down until you find Places, or follow this link:


Click on the pencil icon to edit the section and choose “Hide this section”. You can also get rid of the map by heading to your About page on your timeline, clicking the pencil edit button, choosing “Manage Sections” and un-checking the Places section. This is also how you’d get the map back.


Why Hiding The Map Isn’t Enough

As you might well guess, hiding this map doesn’t actually remove your map from Facebook. It merely makes it a little more difficult to see as it is no longer on your About page. Any real stalker will know that they can still go to the map by the direct URL and see what’s on it. For instance:

So, on the off-chance that you have a real stalker out there, it would be best to actually remove any location data from photos that are in sensitive places and clean this map up. It’s a good idea to remove location data from photos at your house, friends’ houses, workplaces, schools, favourite parks, favourite cafés and the like. Basically remove the data from anywhere you want yourself and your family to be able to go to regularly with safety.

Stop Sending Location Data With Photos

The next step is to take a look at your Facebook app on your smartphone and tell it to upload photos without any GPS locations attached. This is different for every app and phone OS, so you may need to rummage around in the settings until you find it.


For the standard Android app, choose the photo you want to upload, and when you get to a screen much like a regular Facebook update you can choose the privacy of that update. If you hover over the place icon in this screen you’ll be able to remove (or add) location data for the photo.

It’s also possible to sync photos automatically using this app, but the best privacy move if you’re using this is to set the privacy settings for your entire “Mobile Uploads” album. Note though, this won’t stop the location data being uploaded. I believe the situation using an iPhone is much the same, though there are other apps available for Facebook users that work differently.

Do this again every time you start using a new app for Facebook on your phone. I would also go so far as to turn GPS off whenever I am near my house How To Turn Off GPS In Private Places Using Tasker [Android] With the plethora of amazing gadgets people own these days, it's really easy to overlook privacy concerns which, upon reflection, are quite obvious. One of the simplest of these is geotagging photos. While it's an... Read More , so the location of those photos is always a little vague.

Another thing you should do while in your Facebook app’s settings is to disable your Messenger location services, which automatically reveal your location to anyone you chat with through the app.


Facebook app location

Limit Who Can Tag You

Head to the “Timeline and Tagging” section of your privacy settings, then change it so that only your friends can tag you. Also change the settings to limit who can see the posts you’re tagged in. Then make sure you set tagging review options so that everything needs to be reviewed before it’s posted to your timeline. This way, no-one else can give away your locations for you.

Cleaning Up Your Location Data

Go through your photos and make sure the albums and photos don’t give away specific location How To Use Facebook Places Location Tagging Safely [Weekly Facebook Tips] If you're on Facebook a bit, you've probably noticed people adding a location to their posts and photos, tagging their friends in locations and generally making it clear that they're out and about having a... Read More information (be sure to include photos you are tagged in by friends). Also, go through your activity log and review all the posts you’ve been tagged in, removing or reducing the visibility of tagged posts Make Sure You're Secure With Facebook's New Privacy Settings: A Complete Guide Facebook also means two other things: frequent changes and privacy concerns. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Facebook, is that they’re not really concerned about what we like or our privacy. Nor should they... Read More as you see fit.



Keeping Safe

Personally, I think that your physical location is one of the most important things to keep private on social media. Wherever possible, keep things vague and not precisely up-to-date.

How do you keep your location safe on social networks?

Related topics: Facebook, Online Privacy.

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  1. Greg
    October 15, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Not remotely helpful; no edit buttons or pencils where this article states they’ll be. Wrong, from start to finish.

  2. zoe andrews
    January 29, 2017 at 7:25 am

    .to delete the map, go to the tab that says "more" in the category section edit the category to "companies and organisations" and the map will automatically disappear. in case it doesn't make sure the location info is empty .

  3. Lehlohonolo
    October 7, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Yeah, I think being incredibly discreet about your location is very much important. Because you'll never know who planning your demise?

    Or rather give a false address instead of a real one?

  4. Anonymous
    July 1, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Facebook isn't the only risk. Maybe 90% of apps installed on your phone access location. I found this out when I rooted my phone and blocked permissions. Games and photo editors are the worst.

    If you don't want to root your phone (especially if it's under warranty), you can fake your location or you will need to turn off location in your phones settings. For maximum protection don't just turn off GPS but the location feature entirely.

    On Android you can access the hidden developer options (Google to find how to do this on your specific phone). Under developer options, check allow mock locations and search the Play Store for a fake location app or get an automation app that you can set to pop up a reminder to change location setting when you open or close an ap .

    I'd suggest rooting though if possible. Location isn't the snooper. A lot of apps also have permission to see all of your contacts information, obtain your network or phone information, keep running in the background using your battery, and more.

    I'm not a conspiracy nut but the big brother is watching you thought does stand out. But a concern anyone would have is that they can get your location and start sending you unwanted mail, text messages or phone calls. They can also share that information with other unscrupulous companies so they can start harassing you as well.

  5. Trenton Collabaster
    April 17, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    .... And this (plus about 1000 other reasons) is why I never bothered with Facebook).

  6. Trenton Collabaster
    April 17, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    .... And this (plus about 1000 other reasons) is why I never bothered with Facebook).

  7. Brian
    April 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Great info.Thanks