Clovis Police Department warns of phone app safety, location sharing services

CLOVIS, Calif. -- The Clovis Police Department says it's more important than ever to make sure you're keeping tabs on location services on your phone, and on the phones of your kids.

"A lot of times when you're posting you're not thinking about all the extra info you're posting," said Destin Watkins, digital forensic analyst with the Clovis Police Department. "Sometimes your location is being shared, perhaps even the place that you live."

Using Google maps and a popular social media site, Watkins demonstrated by tracking down the name, accounts, phone number and apartment complex of a random Clovis resident, using only means that would be available for anyone with access to the internet. He was also able to find a picture inside the man's home.

The demonstration served as a reminder of how much information is shared with phone apps, often without the user knowing. Watkins said one of the biggest issues is linking accounts, such as Twitter and Instagram.

"One account can be locked down, but the other might be telling the world where you're at," Watkins said.

His recommendation: disable location services inside each individual app if you don't need them.

"Any app that you have the potential to share information on can be dangerous if you don't think before you post."