workplace_ uses IP address lookups to determine the location of your devices. This isn’t an exact science and can routinely report activity that doesn’t match up with your physical location.
Here are the most common reasons that your location is reported inaccurately:
A router identifies incorrectly
A number of organizations map out Internet topology periodically (think: the digital version of drawing physical geographic locations). So, if you recently moved from D.C. and brought an old router to Binghamton, until the mapping updates at your new location, your IP may still say you’re in D.C..
Device reports previous location
Don’t panic if your device ‘signed out’ or ‘timed out’ and the last known location shows a spot you already left. Your computer most likely remembered the last location when it was shut off, or was put to sleep.
Mobile Data Access Point far away
If you’re relying on a cellular internet connection, your IP can often change, which can create erratic location readings that don’t reflect where you actually were. The actual access point to the internet may also be far away from the cell tower that your phone is connecting too, which may at times put you a city, or even a state over.
VPNs send locations from the access network
A Virtual Private Network or a Trusted Proxy protects your privacy by showing the world you are in a different location than in reality. If you’re connecting through them, your location will most likely now change, and only report from the spot that the physical network is located in.
Because of these factors, it’s important to look at other factors, such as the device, type of activity, time, etc., to verify that the access was legit. If a far away location and a device are unfamiliar to you, it’s a good indicator that something fishy is going on. If that is the case contact support right away.