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foursquare What Are The Risks?

Updated on October 15, 2012

foursquare what is it?

foursquare is a new social networking website that is web and mobile friendly. it is mainly used for connecting with your friends and being able to track them therefore knowing each others locations at all times. It uses your mobile phone to track down your every step and tell other people all about it.

foursquare is a company valued at £61 million. it uses global positioning satellite technology, which are in some mobile phones but not all phones at this time, and the aim is to pinpoint the users locations, then list shops cafes and pubs, and of course other locations of interest such as historical sights and holiday destinations.

You can join in by using tags to 'check in' at venues, for example if you go to a cafe, you can earn points and virtual badges to let others know about the venues that you are using. You can even become a virtual mayor of your favourite places, leaving tips and information for other users.

 

Twitter and facebook

There are also lists where you can see other foursquare contacts and locate them anywhere in the world. Every time that you check in, you post it on facebook or twitter, and everybody that is connected can keep up with your movements virtually following you wherever you go. On the foursquare website, you can see everybody that is downloading to it from second to second. And of course you can keep an eye on your friends by getting their updates or Pings.

foursquare started in 2009 and since then has developed into over 500,000 users all over the world.

 

Now for the downside.

We are always hearing about new websites that will be more user friendly and easier to keep in contact with friends and family but are we taking it too far? I won't go into too much detail about the site, for example how it works and the way it manages to do all these wonderful technological miracles or more to the point downright nosiness, but only to say that, surely if this is as open and intrusive as it seems to be, how dangerous is it? Okay, let's start of with the most disturbing aspect of all.

1. You can spy on complete strangers anywhere in the world! With this technology you can see their photos and travel history. So what does this mean? By using facebook and twitter, along with foursquare technology, criminals can build up a profile of any virtual 'victim' and plan their route so that the burglars can keep track of anybody and wait until they know that they are out, and go straight over and break into their house or spy on them.

2 And of course there are the stalkers. Take for example the fact that you are planning to go to a cafe then the cinema, and you are tagging and pinging every move that you make. the fact is that the stalker will know your every move, he will also l know what you look like, and because of the lack of anonymity he will know you well enough so that you may as well just invite him along! There have been newspaper reports of people being sent dozens of abusive e-mails because they have put themselves out there in the public eye with too much information about themselves.

3. Most importantly what about children? All children love new technology, but is it a good idea for a child to reveal exactly where he or she is at any given point? No, didn't think so. Should there be an age limit placed on this site to make sure that children under the age of eighteen can't use it? I have checked the terms and conditions and it seems that you only have to be thirteen and over. Is this the new age of adulthood? No? Didn't think so.

After browsing through the privacy agreement, it does seem to cover all angles to a certain extent, but of course there are such people as hackers who of course can, well, hack!

It seems to me that parents are having to keep an eye on so many new things coming into being on the Internet and mobile phones. To a certain degree a parent can keep their eyes on a computer, but on a mobile phone? Nightmare!

So my initial feelings on this are, first of all the site should make sure it puts in place a good guideline to ensure that children will be safe, and second I think that maybe there should be some sort of explanation of this site and others like it at schools around the country to make sure children will understand the dangers.

Saying this, I am not trying in any way to have a go at this new site, far from it, as these are exciting times where technology is pushing forward against all the barriers of the past, when we had nothing like this and I think it is amazing how far and fast we have come compared to just a few years ago when all we had was a landline phone and maybe a very simple arcade game. So don't let me put you off a good fun site, which, if used properly will bring a lot of fun and enjoyment to your leisure time.

 

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    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, alocsin, they were talking about it on tv and it seemed to be quite an open site, and of course these days we have to be so careful, thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Never heard of this website. Thanks for the headsup. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, jessicab, thanks for commenting cheers nell

    • jessicab profile image

      jessicab 6 years ago from Alabama

      Great hub.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, toknowinfo, thanks, I spotted this and realised that it could be dangerous, I don't think I would like to use something so open as this, cheers nell

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Nell Rose,

      Wow, thanks for the info. You educated me and helped me to become more vigilant. Thanks for the well done and informative hub. Rated up and useful.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, michael, you are exactly right, the trouble these days is that people trust to much, I don't think I would want everybody to know exactly where I was at any given time, not that I have anything worth stealing you understand! ha ha but seriously, kids should be careful, thanks again nell

    • michael ely profile image

      michael ely 6 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Nell Rose, Interesting article. I have never heard of this company, but sometimes with the more technological advances that are made you really have to make big decisions if you truly want to get involved in these things or be a bit more wary. Cheers. Michael.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, just to say I will be over to read some hubs soon but there seems to be a glitch at the moment, so thanks for your comments, and I will get there as soon as possible, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, Tatjana, thank you for reading it, and I really appreciate your comments, I don't think I would want to join it, I would be too scared of everybody knowing where I am, thanks again nell

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Well, this is a bit too much! There is no way that I would ever want that every my friend exatly knows where I am at the certain moment.

      Thank you for sharing... Excellent Hub, excellent points.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, pmccray, How embarassing for your nephew! lol we definitely need a maximum age limit! ha ha but thank you so much for the vote, I do think that we are too careless these days, cheers nell

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 7 years ago from Utah

      Nell Rose: I totally agree with the downside of these sites. I tweet mine and others hubs, never Facebook my hubs because my Mother is a member (the reason is a hub topic in itself).

      FB helps me with daily contact to relatives that I usually don't contact until holidays. Minimum age should be 18, too many demented kids on the sites for my liking.

      My Mother once questioned my 14 year old nephew's sexual orientation on FB because of a haircut or lack thereof. My sister had to remind her that his friends and classmates were on the site. Maybe we need a maximum age limit too. Love this hub voted up, marked useful.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, Tina, thank you for reading it, I just found this site to be a little bit disturbing in the fact that it was so intrusive, I only hope people are aware of this before they join this one or any other site that is like this, thanks nell

    • TINA V profile image

      TINA V 7 years ago

      It's good to know something about Foursquare as a new website. I agree with you that social networking is important, but it also has its own downside. I guess we only have to be careful. This is an informative hub.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, billy, thanks for reading it, it was funny really because I don't normally take a lot of notice of these sort of things, but this one just seemed a bit too much, thanks again nell

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Nell that is exactly right - we really have only ourselves to blame.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, billy, I know, it's amazing at how gullible people are, we moan about Big brother and all the speed cameras, cctv and spy devices but then we give our all for absolutely nothing! thanks for commenting, cheers nell

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Nell very interesting I have not heard of this site. It will be interesting if people go the whole hog and give up their privacy for this site. Big brother must be laughing huh - Orwellian dreams that are self invited.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, Shalini, glad you liked it, I was a bit wary of this site, but I am sure they know what they are doing, it is the younger ones that worry me, thanks again as always cheers nell

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Hi Nell - the Internet is such a fascinating and a frightening place, isn't it? So many new fields to explore and yet, hidden dangers lurk. The problem I guess is how to balance it - that's a very balanced pros and cons hub, by the way, thanks!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, Sa'ge, I totally understand what you are saying, I think that is why I got a little bit suspicious or wary of this new site, I am not saying anything bad against them because they probably have their heart in the right place, but I do think they should get advertisers to warn the public before they join it, you should never do anything like this without thinking first, and sadly this seems to be quite lacking these days, thanks so much again for reading it cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, Nikesha, thanks for reading it, it is a very frightening thought that we will be under so much scrutiny soon, and I quite believe it when different sources have said that we are being subconciously manipulated into doing these things, if we were told that we would be under scrutiny, we would rebel, but people are doing it all the time like these sort of sites, I am not trying to stop anybody doing anything that they want to do, to have fun, and I am sure the above site is very careful, but as I said it is not the innocent site that is the trouble it is the criminals out there that will take every opportunity to use this to their advantage, thanks again nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, Bloget, thank you for your comment, it is nice to see someone who has tried or considered trying it, I think the trouble is that these days young people especially are so excited about a new site and they see the advertisements for it, that they don't give it a second thought, I also think that because of all the technology and spyware etc they automatically assume that it will be safe, these days we are forgetting to think for ourselves about safety, thank you for reading it, cheers nell

    • Sa`ge profile image

      Sa`ge 7 years ago from Barefoot Island

      face book, my space, and so many other place that say you need to be this or that age to get on, does not make any diff to the kids. Today kids are smart enough to get past most things and post anyways. in fact, they think it is fun to do all those things. Rules to keep kids out, let me tell you, it won't happen. More kids will be lost then every before with this site running full swing! NO!

      parents, grand parents,uncles and aunts better give kids the low down on what can and DOES happen with info given on sites like that one! God Almighty! it is NOW happening! We are at the end of our privacy!

      Thank You Nell for bringing this to our attention! My grand kids need to be safe!

    • Nikesha Wallace profile image

      Nikesha Wallace 7 years ago

      I see your point Nell, and its good to know that some people still look at both sides of things, and with a pretty fair view. It usually allows you to get to the best solution for you and others. I agree that along with many technologies there comes the bad with the good, and I once heard an older person say that the world is about 70% wicked, its sad but I think its very close to truth, so if not right on, I think the number is pretty close. You bring up a very good point, and I hope that people pick up on this and try to reform their use of certain technologies. In any case we are all subject to intrusion of privacy in many areas. It suggests that soon we will be in such a time when something has to give because we will literally be so victimized by and through the use of many technologies.

    • profile image

      Bloget 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing. I recently signed up for four square and considering all the things that could go wrong... it's just not worth it.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, Audrey, I knew you would be up for it! lol have you bought your binoculars and hearing device for spying? now you don't have too, you can just join this! ha ha hope your having a great weekend, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, Mickey, we know that you have a girl in every port we have been spying on you for years! ha ha thanks as always nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, valerie, Oh my God you are so right about dating two guys and making the mistake of pingiing the info! ha ha that would not be good, thanks as always nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, carolina muscle, how ya doing? thanks for reading it, I quite agree with you, I can't imagine anyone wanting to know that I am sitting watching tv! thanks again nell

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      Oh wow - stalkers! I'm in!!! I keep wondering how many more social websites we are going to have - isn't it getting like insane? There is only so much we can possibly do on our computers per day and I for one am for getting more time AWAY than at! Good info though and I'll know where to sign up now if I have time to go spying on folks! I need to get out more probably!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Nell- people would know I stay home all the time. I want to keep this facade of the macho man that plays the field with a different girl in every port. Everyone will know the real me. That can't be good!

    • valeriebelew profile image

      valeriebelew 7 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

      Nell, I'm not sure I want all my friends to know exactly where I am all the time. What if you are dating two or more guys at once. I don't want people to be able to know where I am at unless I choose to tell them. Also, as you suggested, stalkers or other wierdos could also be keeping up with your whereabouts. HUM. Just don't know about this one. (:v

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I'm just not that crazy about perfect strangers knowing what I'm doing ALL the time. Not that I do anything all that interesting, but it's just creepy.

      Great post, Nell!

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, prasetio, good morning to you too, it is half one in the morning here so I can say that! lol thank you for reading it, and of course you are right, there is probably a very positive side to this site as well, and you have given me the other side of the benefits to it compared to the not so good sides, so thank you for that, hope you have a good day, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, CMHypno, you are so right, I was in fact having this conversation today with my brother, I was saying that I had noticed that when anybody went anywhere interesting or met a famous person, for example they always seem to be hiding behind a phone or a camera, they are not seeing it in real life, they seem to only want to look through a lense or show it of to friends, they are missing so much by doing this, I have noticed people walk down the road just texting or phoning somebody without seeing what is going on around them, and where this site is concerned they will be doing it even more, it is as though the technology is more important to see things second hand instead of first hand, and they are leaving themselves wide open to unscrupulous people, thank you for reading it, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, Hello Hello, I know this is a very dodgy site or idea for a site at least, with twitter you just write a few things about yourself and just chat or download links to your work, and with facebook you do give more of your information but it is mainly while you are sat in front of a computer, but as we have seen on the news so many times, people manage to infiltrate a personal site on there and lie about who they are, young girls have been murdered because they have met someone on these sites, and they weren't even so open as this new one. very scary, thanks so much for reading it, cheers nell

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Good morning, Nell. Good information. I never know about foursquare before. But I saw great technology here. It gave us many benefits by knowing the position of the people, for positive purpose I think. Thank you very much for share about this for us, it is very useful. I can't wait to vote this UP. Have a good day. Take care!

      Prasetio

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, Artisina, I did catch my eye to write this because it just felt wrong, I hope it doesn't prove right. everybodys safety is the most important thing, thanks nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, Springboard, that is exactly right, I feel that we are falling into a trap that we will regret with these sort of things, I shudder to think that people would know my business to such a degree as even knowing where I am eating out! thanks for your comments, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, Revlady, thank you for coming over and reading it, you are certainly right that this is definetely not the sort of thing that I would be interested to join, for example we on Hubpages use a cover name to protect us from any bad outside influences, so for the life of me I cannot understand why anyone would want to open themselves up like this. thanks again nell

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      The thing that always surprises me is that people seem to think that other people are interested and fascinated in the tiniest details of their lives. Much as I like to broadly know what is going on in the lives of my family and friends, do I really need to know that a friend is having a coffee at Starbucks in Islington at 11.18am on Thursday? It's the same on Facebook, when people post things like they are making toast or opening the post. I personally don't need a minute by minute update on anyone's life online, and would never sign up to this site as it is way too intrusive. But is there a broader social problem being highlighted here? Are people now happier living their lives one step removed in cyberspace rather than just getting on with it and enjoying it in physical reality? Thought provoking Hub, Nell.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I am very surprised that this was allowed in the first place. Thank you for pointing it out so clearly. Is it the same with Facebook and Twitter?

    • Artisina profile image

      Artisina 7 years ago from Sacramento

      Thank you for such an informative hub. I completely agree with you and Petra about the invasion of privacy and the danger from certain people and the government.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I think this sort of thing starts to draw the line. I can't see the reason I would want to know anyone's exact whereabouts for any other reason than for sinister ones. I view this as a complete and utter invasion of privacy that I would never permit.

    • RevLady profile image

      RevLady 7 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      Interesting. I had never heard of this company and do not plan to become a part. However, useful information is always good, if not for yourself, certainly for others. Thank you.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, melinda, I only came across this by accident, because it was mentioned in the newspaper as an advertisement and I thought, gotta look at this! and then I started thinking that maybe it was a little bit invasive, and that's why I wrote it. thanks again nell

      Hi, sheila, I thought I would get back to doing some of things that intrigue me for a change! I am sure people must be fed up of reading about me! lol but seriously it is a bit frightening if you are bringing up a small child with this sort of technology around, don't you think? thanks as always, cheers nell

      Hi, Enlydia, thanks for stopping over, I would hate to think that everybody knew where I lived etc, and for the life of me I can't understand why anybody would want to do this. I think the trouble is these days is the fact that instead of living in the moment, kids seem to want to video or camcorder it to watch later. Why? just look around you and see what is out there and forget silly technology just for five minutes! that's my attitude anyway!, lol got carried away then! thanks nell

      Hi, Petra, I quite agree with you, I think there is too much invasion of privacy now without wrapping it in the 'fun' factor. how do we know that this is not made by people that are in government or somewhere, so that it looks like a fun site but is really just spying on us? this may sound like I am paranoid, but nothing would surprise me! lol thanks for commenting, cheers nell

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Technology has its advantages, but this particular site is so invasive (by design) into the privacy of a person, that is nothing more than asking for trouble. It is the first step in giving up control over our lives to complete strangers, not to mention government. SCARY

    • profile image

      EnLydia Listener 7 years ago

      it sounds like something I would avoid...I agree with msorensson...I like my privacy.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      I hadn't heard of this, either. I like the way you presented it. And I can see why young people, especially, will like it.

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

      Wow.. I never even knew of this company..Thanks Nell

      I love that you put it the downside..akkhh in this day and age, there is NO PRIVACY...

      It is the one thing I value the most.