It's common knowledge that nearly everything you do with your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone can be tracked in one way or another. Whether it's Google logging your search history, Facebook keeping track of the things you Like, or your mobile carrier using GPS to pinpoint your exact location, every single one of us is creating more data than we realize.
All that being said, there are also some advantages to these tracking practices. When you're browsing the web, Google's tracking is meant to help generate search results more quickly that match what you're interested in. Facebook's targeted advertisements use the data to present ads for products you'll actually like, rather than bombard your News Feed with spam. But, surprisingly, one of the biggest advantages of your device's tracking capabilities is following the GPS location.
1. Help for emergencies
Even with a crystal ball, it's impossible to know what might happen in the future. If something were to happen, would you be prepared?
It's not always possible to have someone with you wherever you go, but with GPS location technology, you can now have others watching your back. Apps like BlueLight let you notify a friend when you're on the go, and when you've safely arrived at your destination. And Google Maps just added the option to share your location in real-time with people you trust. This could come in handy if you run into car trouble and find yourself stranded on the side of the road, or if you're lost and need some help getting back home. Click here to see how "Share My Location" can help you out in a pinch, and here for five additional apps that can save your life in an emergency.
2. Peace of mind with teens
Parenting in this modern age has only become more challenging. Keeping your child safe from physical threats is now only part of the equation. Cyberthreats such as online predators, bullying and even sexting present more risks parents need to be concerned with.
An app called Phone Tracker can give you peace of mind when it comes to what your teenager is doing on their mobile device. It tracks phone calls, text messages, web activity and even your child's GPS location. Life360 and Find My Friends are two additional apps that can help you keep an eye on your family and make sure they're in a safe location.
3. Check in on your employees
One of the biggest challenges small business owners face is ensuring their employees are performing efficiently. If those employees drive company vehicles or are frequently traveling, this task can be even harder. To tackle this problem, some business owners have resorted to installing hidden monitors that track their employees' every move. But that's an extreme option.
Tracking apps offer an easier way to keep tabs on what your employees are up to, and certain apps even offer additional benefits for your business. For example, an app called TSheets is both a location tracker and time clock that documents when employees clock in and out, as well as where they were when their shift began.
For employees using company-issued smartphones, apps such as mSpy and Flixispy can be installed on the phone to keep track of their web activity, calls, texts, etc. You'll need to disclose that this tracking is taking place. However, knowing that someone could be watching will ensure that your employees use your equipment for business purposes only.