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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – A local professor is developing a new phone app to help people protect their privacy.

It’s part of Mississippi State University professor Robert Crossler’s “Privacy That Matters” research project, which recently won an international competition.

“It’s just easy with a click of a button, your information could be out there before you know it,” said MSU student Alyce Turner.

That’s why Crossler is developing the new phone app. He wants people to be more careful protecting their privacy.

“People often aren’t aware that the pictures they take and post on Twitter, post on Facebook, have geotag location information on them, and if they’re posting a fun picture, they’re also telling everybody where exactly they were when that picture was taken,” he said.

Crossler says you can change those settings. You just need to check the location-based services on your phone.

“People need to ask themselves, ‘Is there a reason why this app needs my location?’ And sometimes that’ll be yes, like a weather app needs your location. Other times the answer may be no.”

The goal of this new app is to deter hackers and identity thieves.

“We really hope that it helps to cut down on people being able to steal information from that perspective. it also cuts down on marketing,” Crossler said.

He hopes to launch the app this fall.

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