What is Geotagging in Simple Terms?
Geotagging is the act of adding your location information to photos, videos, text messages, and websites. Global Positioning Devices (GPSs) in cameras and mobile devices can show your (or your photo’s) exact latitude, longitude, and time stamp. You can also manually share your location by attaching photos to a map (for example, with Flickr or Picasa) or by “checking in” (for example, with Foursquare and Facebook).
How can it harm?
Geotagging can reveal personal information such as your office and home address, place of vacation, daily commute, etc. If you share your location, you may be broadcasting information that could be used against you.
What can I do?
Find out if your devices have geotagging capability (for example, built-in GPS device) and consider disabling the geotagging function on your devices. Don’t know how? Learn about various cell phone settings online or check your device’s user manual.
Consider opting not to manually share your location in photos or on social media (for example, “checking in”). Checks to ensure your social media (for example, Facebook) are set to “private.”
Consider removing metadata from photos before posting to social media or other websites. Consider double checking photos you have already posted for metadata. Check online for a variety of metadata removal software.
Example, if you are living in California and you’re vacationing in the Caribbean loving life, how pictures have been posted. Your family members are posting great photos and videos online of your family playing in the sand. Not only will their online friends know you’re all away from home, but anyone else with access to YouTube or their Facebook page can see where you are, as well. Because the feature includes the date and time, there’s no question as to your current location. This is a great invitation for intruders to visit your home. This doesn’t mean that bad things will happen because of your geo tag, but better safe than sorry.
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