Using a Rideshare Service this New Year's Eve? Read These Safety Tips First.

Ridesharing services have become a very popular alternative to traditional taxis, and make it easy to get home safely after a big night out.  But, how much do you know about what information the rideshare software is collecting?  Here are some quick tips for you to keep your information safe during the holiday season and all year round:

  1. Make sure to read the privacy policy of any rideshare mobile app so you understand exactly how they are collecting and using your information.
  2. Many of these services require access to information on your mobile device beyond just the geolocation feature on your smartphone or tablet.  If the access isn’t necessary to flag yourself a ride, don’t allow it.  Pay attention to what the phone is accessing when you download the app.
  3. Some of the ride sharing services track you even when you aren’t using the service.  This has even become the subject of controversy lately.  Pay attention to the window that pops up asking if you will allow the app to collect your information.  We recommend you “Don’t Allow” this to happen.  If you do, be clear on what information you are giving up to the company for tracking, as once you do, it has been reported that it is very difficult to undo.
  4. When taking a trip with a rideshare service, you may want to be aware of what information you have on your person. If you were to accidentally leave a purse or wallet in the car, you may never see it again.  Make sure not to carry around your Social Security card or a note that has your pin number to your bank account.  We recommend you don’t carry or use a debit card for payment.  Instead, carry and use a credit card as there are more protections for a credit card vs. a debit card.  If you have any information on your person that can be used to perpetrate identity theft, you may want to rethink if it is necessary to carry.

Stay safe and smart this holiday season!  Although it is a cheerful time of year, always remember there are bad actors wanting to do harm during the holiday season and year round. 

If this information is helpful, please consider donating to PRC.  With your generous donations, we can keep our doors open and be able to continue to provide you with practical and pertinent information to keep you informed about privacy and your information.

Thank you again for your support and have a safe and happy New Year!