By Helena Williams
Track 24 SoloMate Lite app by Track24
If you work in hostile environments it is vital that somebody knows where you are. Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices are handy pieces of kit for journalists in the field. They let people know your location almost instantly with the press of a button, don’t have to be expensive and can be downloaded, worn and carried on your person, in bags or in vehicles.
INSI has reviewed six GPS trackers, which may be of interest to freelancers and staffers operating in dangerous locations. This review does not constitute an endorsement of any of the products.
GPS trackers should be easy to use. Look out for intuitive interfaces and maps so people monitoring them can see where you are. Look out for the length of the battery life – a GPS tracker is no use if it runs out of power.
Remember that tracking devices carry significant risks to privacy, so be sure that you can activate and deactivate your device, while ensuring that it can’t be activated or deactivated unintentionally. They can and may be tracked by the security forces in many countries. Before use, ensure you are aware of the counter threats to you and your story.
Remember that GPS trackers only work with a clear view of the sky (so will not work in buildings).
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