Strava is a widely used social fitness tracking platform known primarily for popularizing terms like KOM and QOM. And for turning casual exercise into a competitive sport, for better or worse, via its leaderboards feature. But, like all social platforms, Strava also has its share of privacy concerns and Snafus. From poorly thought-out features to accidentally revealing the location of secret military bases, there’s a history of the app sharing more than intended. All that makes asking how to stay safe, and avoid revealing too much personal information on Strava a very legitimate question.
Is all of this a little over the top or borderline paranoid? Maybe. But, on the other hand, maybe our community of active people has normalized regularly sharing an entirely unreasonable amount of personal information. Often with little awareness of who can see it and how it could be used by others.
It’s not just hypothetical anymore either. While Strava still denies that its platform was ever used as a tool for targeted bike thefts, there are two recent cases of the social training platform crossing over to the real world. A cyclist vandalizing a Trump sign was identified partially by his Strava activities. More disturbingly Strava is featuring in a high-profile murder case, though its role in that case is yet to be proven.
There are easy ways to stay safe, though. While no social platform makes it easy to avoid sharing data, Strava’s privacy settings are now easier than some of the other platforms to navigate. Many of these options were created in response to public demand. There are also simple ways to change how you use the platform.
1 ) Don’t use Stava
Why do you need to share detailed GPS coordinates and physiological data (HR, power, etc) of every activity with the world? The easiest way to avoid sharing too much information on Strava is to not use it at all. Unplug and just enjoy the ride.
2 ) Make your account private
If you’re going to use Strava, the first step to control who sees your data is to make your account private. Then only people who you approve can see your activities.
This isn’t the only step, though, as some other features can reveal personal data even if your account is set to private.
3 ) Don’t start/end rides at your house
The beauty of cycling (and running) is that you can often start your ride right from the front door. That doesn’t mean you should track…