While researching a post about a connection between bike theft and Strava for JustAnotherCyclist.com, I found a great security feature built into the social media site for athletes. If you have concerns about your privacy, like not wanting to reveal the address of your house, Strava privacy zones have you covered.
If you select ‘Settings’ from the drop down menu in the upper right corner of the web page while you are logged in, you’ll be presented with a menu.
Select ‘Privacy from that menu
The settings page will present you with an area to enter an address. You can also select the radius here.
Then ‘Create Privacy Zone.’ A map will be displayed with a circle showing you the area around the address that is now protected:
But what does that really mean?
From the Strava help text, “A privacy zone will hide the portion of your activity that starts or ends in your zone from all athletes.” This will essentially make it appear – to everyone else – that your route actually started at the point where you crossed the circle that defines your privacy zone. You of course will still be able to see your full route information on maps you view. The protections only apply to other users.
There are some caveats about segments however. For obvious reasons you will not appear on leaderboards for segments that start and/or end within the privacy zone. But all the stats – heart rate, cadence, etc – will be included in the calculations. That means you min, max and average heart rate (for example) will include the data from actions performed within the privacy zone. Total distance will also be for the full, actual, ride. It is just the location information that is hidden.
It is not just your home or any single address you can protect either. You can set up multiple privacy zones of different sizes if you like. One common use case would be to have one around your home, and another around your office. While the theft risks of exposing your ride stop and start points are debatable, you can clearly cover your basis.
Finally, you can opt in or out of Strava privacy zones at any time – without losing any of your saved route information. If you turn it on today, the privacy protections are automatically applied to all of your past routes. Turn it back off tomorrow and all of your rides are displayed in full again.