Cycling app reveals address of British IT manager

The Strava app, designed for cycling, has revealed the home address of British IT manager Mark Leigh.

The app allows bike riders and runners to share routes and compare times through a GPS. The Manchester Evening News said that Leigh, 54, is a keen cyclist that uses the app to compete with other cycling enthusiasts.

Unfortunately, personal information is often held in the routes including the home address of avid users such as Leigh. “I locked my bike in the garage next to another one. The following morning my garage had been cleverly broken into and they were gone. My garage is not highly visible. I live on a narrow cul-de-sac — the only explanation I can think of is Strava, as my route ended at my home address,” said Leigh. He feels the theft was not random as the bikes were the only things stolen and other valuables could have been taken as well.

The Strava app allows users to create a privacy zone that will not be shared with others to hide your office or home on activity maps. Additional enhanced privacy helps users control what other enthusiasts see and can hide details of your activity.

“Strava allows you to make any individual activity private. You can make your profile viewable only by signed in Strava members, and abbreviate your last name for more anonymity. In addition, you can require approval before allowing someone to follow you,” the Strava app's website describes.

Unfortunately Leigh was unaware of the privacy settings and ended his route at his home address, visible to any other users.  “Strava is a great tool, but be mindful of the security protection in the app and be careful about publishing things publicly,” Leigh concluded.