Bodywork

Q:

Is It Dangerous to Live Track My Workout?

I’ve thought about live GPS tracking my runs when I workout in new places. Is that a good idea, or is it dangerous?

Marathon runners and participan Rizal Philippines

    Photo: patrimonio designs limited

A:Location-based apps “are really neat because they allow you to share where you’re going, but the scary part about it is it allows people to stalk you,” says cyber security expert Michael Gregg, founder of Security Solutions, Inc.

The trick to staying safe is to keep only friends and family members in the loop so they’ll know if something goes wrong. You can minimize the risk of broadcasting to bad guys, Gregg says, by installing a legitimate app, and ensuring the permissions are set up properly.

How do you know if the app is legitimate? Look for lots of reviews. Not only that, look at the reviews to make sure they weren’t all posted at a similar time, which suggests foul play. (Check out this article for more tips on avoiding malware apps.)

Once you’ve found an app, make sure to check its permissions, and how the software is set up. “Some of the apps opt open by default, which means they share everything with everyone and you have to restrict it down, and some don’t opt open by default,” Gregg says. Make sure your broadcast setting is restricted.

A few popular live tracking apps to try:

Athletes will appreciate Garmin Fit, which lets invited viewers not only see your location, but also view all of your fitness data in real time, from heart rate and cadence to speed and elevation. ($1.99/month or $19.99/year)

Glympse lets you determine who sees your location, and for how long. (free)

Apple’s Find My Friends also allows you to determine who sees your location, and for how long. (free)

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