Cyber security expert: How to safely share your data in case of an emergency

Published: Jan. 19, 2020 at 9:21 PM CST
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Alex Holden, a Springfield man, and son of Judge Calvin Holden of Greene County has been missing in Sacramento for more than two weeks.

The family is offering a $10,000 reward on any information that helps find him.

His family has been unable to access more specific location data from his phone that could give a better idea of his last known whereabouts.

A local cyber-security expert has recommendations on safely sharing your data in case of a similar emergency.

"Families, if they share their location with each other, it does increase everyone's peace of mind when you are traveling, there is bad weather and, god forbid, a missing person case," said Shannon McMurtrey.

Shannon McMurtrey is an assistant professor of Cyber Security at Drury University. He says there are phone applications that allow you to share your location with your loved ones.

"There is the find my phone app where you can add friends and contacts. There is a LIFE 360 app. It's a paid app where you can use on an iPhone or Android," said McMurtrey.

He says having your location turned on in your privacy settings for multiple apps can also help you in a crisis.

"So you will have different settings. Some of them, you'll have told your phone to allow when using the app, always allow, the ones that say always allow, they are tracking your data all the time," said McMurtrey.

"In a missing person case, one of your relatives could probably subpoena or whatever the legal process is and get access to that data from that company," said McMurtrey.

McMurtrey says there are also ways to safely share your passwords with people you trust.

He recommends downloading an app like One Password or Last Pass... these allow you to store all of your passwords social media and financial sites in one location.

"And then share that one password vault, you can share that with a loved one," said McMurtrey.

He says having all of these passwords stored in one place may also make them less likely to be hacked.

"You can set up unique, stronger, longer passwords for every account and not have to reuse your password anywhere," said McMurtrey.

"But, all of that data is also very valuable and to some people very private so being aware of who has access to that data or where it's being stored or whats being done with it thats somehting everyone should think about," said McMurtrey.