Remote work is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Millions of people are preferring to work from home or any other location rather than going to a traditional office space. However, with companies looking to ensure maximum work efficiency, location tracking has now become the norm. Employers use location tracking to monitor their employees’ movements during work hours. Although this technology helps improve safety and productivity, it can also infringe on employees’ privacy. This blog will delve into the benefits and drawbacks of location tracking and provide some tips on how to stay secure while working remotely.
What Is Location Tracking?
Location tracking simply means using GPS or cellular data to determine the location of an individual or device. This technology is commonly used in devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, and fitness trackers. In the workplace, employers use location tracking to monitor their employees’ movements during the workday. Employers can use this data to determine which employees are at the job site, track how long they spend at each location and ensure that they are meeting deadlines and productivity targets.
Benefits of Location Tracking
Location tracking, when used for the right reasons, has several benefits.
One significant benefit of location tracking is improved safety, especially in high-risk workplaces. For example, a mobile tower worker may work in an environment with numerous dangerous hazards. Location tracking can enable the employer to monitor the worker’s movements and intervene in case of emergencies.
Location tracking can considerably improve productivity. By tracking employees’ movements and activities, employers can identify inefficiencies in their work processes and make necessary changes to improve workflow. Employers can also keep track of the time spent by employees at each location, ensuring that they are meeting productivity targets.
Location tracking allows employers to monitor employees in real-time. For example, a delivery service can track their drivers’ location, ensuring prompt and efficient delivery of parcels. Employers can also use location tracking to respond to emergencies quickly, reducing delays in delivering services.
Drawbacks of Location Tracking
Though there are several benefits of location tracking, there are also noteworthy drawbacks.
One significant concern of location tracking is privacy. Employers can track employee’s location both on and off the job, which infringes on employee’s privacy rights. If personal time is also tracked, it could lead to a breach of personal privacy, which could strain the employer-employee relationships.
Another concern with location tracking is the accuracy of the data collected. GPS signals can be blocked or interfered with by physical obstacles, such as buildings or trees, resulting in inaccurate data. An employee may also leave their phone at their work location while working from home or any other location, resulting in erroneous data.
Misuse of Data
Location tracking can enable employers to collect vast amounts of data about employees, arousing concerns over data privacy. Employers could use this data to make decisions about an employee’s employment status, pay or even discriminate against them based on their location.
Tips for Staying Secure While Working Remotely
If you are working remotely, it’s essential to take measures to secure your privacy and security. Below are some tips on how to ensure that your location data remains secure.
Understand Your Company’s Location Tracking Policy
Before you start working for a company, make sure that you understand their location tracking policy. Enquire about what data they collect, how they use it, and who has access to it. This information will help you make informed decisions about your privacy and security.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and hides your IP address, making it difficult for others to monitor your online activities. If you are using a public Wi-Fi network, ensure that you use a VPN, as these networks are often unsecured and can be easily hacked.
Disable Location Services When Not in Use
If you are not using location-based apps or services, consider turning off location services on your device. This will prevent apps from tracking your location and using your data without your knowledge.
Use a Firewall
A firewall can protect your device from unauthorized access and block unwanted traffic. Make sure that your firewall is enabled and updated to maximize your device’s security.
Keep Your Software Up-to-Date
Software updates often include security patches, so it’s critical to keep your operating system, apps, and antivirus software up-to-date. Doing so will help prevent hackers from exploiting known vulnerabilities in your software.
Passwords are a critical tool in securing your personal data. Use strong passwords and change them often to ensure that your data remains secure.
Location tracking can be a useful tool for employers to improve safety and productivity. However, it can also infringe on employees’ privacy rights. If you are working remotely, it’s essential to take measures to secure your privacy and security. By understanding your company’s location tracking policy, using a VPN, disabling location services when not in use, using a firewall, keeping your software up-to-date, and using strong passwords, you can help ensure that your online activities remain secure and private.