GOOGLE Maps can be an incredibly helpful tool – but it does come with risks.
While it can be handy for figuring out what a place looks like before you arrive, be it a house or restaurant, it may reveal details about your home you might want to hide.
In extreme cases, stalkers or criminals can use Google Maps’ Street View feature to scout for any blind spots, cameras or out of view windows to plan their way inside of homes.
The Street View feature is pretty self-explanatory, letting users view the street digitally as you would see it if you were there physically.
However, there is a trick to get your house blurred out from Street View.
To do this, head to the Google Maps website on your computer and enter your home address in the search bar at the top right of the page.
Click the photo of your home when it appears and hit Report a Problem in the bottom right.
Then, like magic, you can use your mouse to choose what parts of your property you wish to keep hidden from the internet.
You’ll be asked to give a bit of detail as to what exactly you want blurred, in case the image is busy with cars, people and other objects.
And keep in mind: once you blur something on Street View, it’s blurred permanently.
Safety feature for solo travel
Another settings tip Google Maps users are being urged to change can help loved ones keep tabs on you while you’re travelling.
Travelling alone or in the dark can sometimes be unsafe, and nerve wracking for loved ones at home.
Google Maps also allows you to share your location with others in real time.
While it may sound a bit creepy, it can be a useful safety feature.
You can allow close friends or family members to monitor your location for some time while you’re on the move.
This feature is also helpful when you’re heading to a friend’s home and they want to see how far away you are.
To use this feature, open Google Maps > Tap the profile icon > Location sharing.
When you want to begin sharing, tap Share location and then tap For 1 hour to customise how long you want to share you location.
Then you can choose one of your contacts from the list.
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