Cyclists urged to take care when using GPS apps

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CYCLISTS are being advised not to give too much information away online as thieves may use technology to target valuable bikes.

Some websites and mobile phone apps allow cyclists to log their route via GPS – inadvertently alerting would-be thieves to their home address.

Sgt Paul McLernon from Lea’s neighbourhood policing team said: “Whilst there is nothing to indicate that any local cyclists have fallen victim to theft as a result of this, we know that cyclists elsewhere in the country have.

“The technology allows users to view each other’s routes and track their rides. Some riders also share their routes on social networking sites such as=  Twitter and Facebook.

“We would urge people to make sure they don’t reveal information that they wouldn’t want everyone to see as it can be used to pinpoint homes and steal=  high-performance bikes from sheds, outbuildings and garages.”

The advice from police is to –

*   Check the privacy settings of any apps;  

*   Check the privacy settings of any websites;  

*   Avoid using Facebook and Twitter to share routes;  

*   Opt to start the tracking function away from your home address and stop again before returning home.

Any information about bike thefts can be reported to the police on 101.

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