With people using smartphones and next generation cameras with built-in GPS units, photos might hold a lot more information than ever before. For example, most smartphones have the option to record the geographical location a photo was taken, which is known as geotagging. But sharing that location with world might not be the best idea, especially if the location is something private like a home or work address.
One example of when you should be extra careful with your goetagged photos is when you take a photo of something expensive, like a luxurious home or expensive car, and place it on a website where it will be publicly available for anyone to see. The trouble is that a criminal can see your photos, decide that he wants whatever you have, and then run the photo through a special program or browser add-on to get the geographical coordinates of where it was taken, giving him the perfect target for his next heist.
So the next time you decide to use your trusty smartphone to snap a quick picture of something, make sure that the geotagging feature is turned off:
In iPhones, this feature can be found by going to the settings menu, general, and then location services. From there you can choose to disable the camera’s access to the GPS.
For Blackberry phones you simply go to the camera icon, press the menu button, options, and then simply turn off the ‘Geotagging’ feature.
In Android phones it’s even simpler, as users simply open the camera app, settings, and then choose to not store the location.
As for your Facebook photos, there is no need to fear at all. Even though Facebook usually gets the spotlight for privacy issues and breaches, they have already installed a filter into their photo uploading process that automatically removes the geotagged location and insures that your privacy is protected, even if you never knew it was at risk in the first place.
As for your other photo uploading purposes, make sure that if you’re using a smartphone or digital camera with geotagging capabilities that the feature is either turned off, or that the location you are taking the photos is not one you wouldn’t mind sharing with the world.