Did you know that a lot of smart phones encode the location of where pictures are taken? Anyone who has a copy can access this information. If you or someone you know snaps a photo of you and then uploads it to the internet on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, it is very easy to figure out exactly where the picture was taken.
Browser plug-ins and certain software programs can reveal the geotag location information of your photos and movies to anyone who wants to see it. Location information (GPS coordinates) stored inside photos can reveal your home address, work address, places you visit often, etc. Geotags can make it very easy for people – friends, family, bosses, spouses, parents – to know exactly where you are.
While this may be disconcerting (especially for parents of teenagers!) the good news is disabling geo-tagging on your phone is easy.
How to Protect Your Privacy and Disable Geotagging
iPhone – Go to Settings, General, Location Services. Here you can set which applications can access your GPS coordinates, or disable the feature entirely. If you use your GPS tracking your children’s whereabouts or to find local restaurants and services on the go – then don’t disable the features entirely.
BlackBerry – Click the camera icon, press the Menu button and choose “Options”. Set the “Geotagging” setting to “Disabled”. Save the updated settings.
Android – Open the Camera application, select “Store Location” and set it to “Off”.
Facebook – removes geotags from uploaded photos, however other social networking sites do not. Look into your privacy settings and turn off location sharing.
Your Digital Camera and Mobile Phone – Make sure to turn off the location sharing settings in your camera and mobile phone. Be extra careful if you are uploading photos to a website where strangers will see them — such as Craigslist or Ebay.