Millions are urged to change their settings on Google Maps to keep themselves safe
- Police have previously warned that online mapping tools are ‘useful’ to criminals
- But Google Maps offers two key options to improve personal safety online
- This include blurring out private details and location sharing with loved ones
From navigating cities to finding local restaurants, many of us have become dependent on Google Maps for getting around in daily life.
But despite its handiness, the platform’s panoramic street views may risk revealing private information about your home that might not be wanted online.
In the past, publicly accessible mapping tools have been deemed ‘useful’ to criminals planning attacks – from burglary to terrorism.
Google Maps itself also pixelated the home of Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook last year following stalking concerns.
But some may be pleased to know that blurring out what’s not wanted online is easily accessible to all using the Google Maps website.
Google Maps provides the option to blur out faces, your home, cars and other personal details
To do this, users can search for their home address on the computer using Google Maps.
A photograph of your home should then appear, which can be clicked on to present a close-up street view of the area.
If there are details that you would like to be blurred, click the three small dots that should be in the top left corner of the Google view.
This gives the option to ‘Report a Problem’ which, when clicked on, allows users to record an inappropriate street view.
Requests can be put forward to blur faces, homes, cars, license plates or different objects.
It also gives the chance to tell Google if there are any issues with image quality.
The only details required to put in about yourself is an email address.
For many of us, Google Maps is essential for getting around in day-to-day life
For those concerned about walking alone in the dark, Google Maps also allows users to share their location with loved ones.
To access this, click on the three lines at the left of the search bar which will provide view of a menu.
This provides a location sharing option where users can select the amount of time they want this tracking information made available to selected personal contacts.