Last week, Twitter revealed a bug in its iOS application that affects your privacy. The location data on some Twitter accounts were shared, without the owner’s knowledge, with one of Twitter’s partners during a real-time bidding process. Are you affected? Continue reading below to find out.
How Did this Happen?
This leak occurred during a real-time bidding process, which is how Twitter lets advertisers purchase a place for their ads based on the location of certain users. Advertisers can bid against each other for better ad placements.
Normally, Twitter removes the exact location information its partners can see. But in this case, it was not done and it’s unclear how long this was happening for.
Affected Twitter Accounts
Twitter users with more than one account were affected. Specifically, those who have chosen to opt-in to sharing their precise location data in one of their Twitter accounts may have this information leaked to their other accounts. This was possible if the user was using the same iOS smartphone device to log in to both accounts.
Luckily, Twitter implemented measures to hide this data so the exact location was not displayed. Instead, only a general location like the ZIP code or city was displayed. Precise movements are not tracked and Twitter has since fixed this problem as well as reached out to those who were affected.
How You Can Protect Yourself
As a social media user, it’s not easy to control how your information is being used at the hands of large companies like Facebook and Twitter. Of course, the best way to protect yourself is to stay off social media altogether. But in today’s day and age, this is extremely difficult, especially if all your family and friends are on social media.
One way you can protect yourself is to turn off location services. On most mobile smartphones, you can find this under Settings, followed by Location Services for iOS devices. On Android smartphones, you can select the name of the app that you’d like to stop showing your information to and manually turn off the location sharing function.
The next way to protect yourself is to ensure all your apps are updated. Software engineers are constantly updating and improving their software to patch security flaws as well as any other fixes. If you do not download these updates, your device will stay unprotected from the latest threats.
One more way to can add an extra layer of protection on your mobile devices is to install an antivirus program. Here at FixMeStick, the antivirus program we use is McAfee Total Protection. You can download McAfee on up to 5 devices – including laptops, desktops and mobile smartphones to protect yourself 24/7!