Did you know that metadata stored within pictures on your smartphone can be used to track your location? This information can then be used to determine where you live, work, and enjoy hanging out. Metawhat!?
Geotagging or location services built-in to most smartphones can be helpful for organizing your photos, but when these photos are shared online they can make you an easy target for burglary. With geotagging on, your smartphone automatically records the latitude and longitude of your location at the time you took the photo.
A simple family photo while on vacation can tell burglars that you are away from home, making you an easy target for theft. Also, a sweet picture of your child on the playground or at school can even tell predators where your child spends his time.
Telling you all this isn’t mean to scare you, but is intended to inform you about a feature you were probably already using. If you don’t have a specific reason to geotag your photos, it makes sense to turn this feature off.
Here are steps provided by GCN to turn geotagging off on your smart phone:
Android 4.2 phones
- Start camera application
- Hit the Settings button
- Scroll down and find the GPS Tag option and turn it off
BlackBerry 6.0 and 7.0
- Open Camera
- Set the Location icon to “Disabled”
iPhone iOS 6.0 – 7.0.4
- Go to Settings
- Select Privacy
- Select Location Services
- Set Camera to “Off”
Windows Phone 7 and 8
- Go to Settings
- Navigate to Applications
- Scroll down to Pictures & Camera
- Set “include location (GPS) info in Pictures you take” to “Off”
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