What is Geotagging?
Process of adding information of your latitude and longitude coordinate as metadata, hidden within your photograph, post or comment on social media or video or anything similar is called Geotagging.
Most of the mobile phones these days have locational capability, but it is turned OFF by default. However, when you install any application and when it asks permissions to enable number of items including location, normally we all quickly press allow. From that point onwards that application starts tracking your location.
The problem with geotagging occurs when the information is shared unknowingly to others and is accessed by an adversary or people with wrong intentions.
· From someone’s Check-ins on Facebook, you can see everywhere they've tagged a location. You can see the restaurants they go to, the gym they frequent, the street they live on, if they are tagging photos of their home and can establish pattern of one’s life.
· Uploading picture of a destination wedding, you are attending, not only tells adversaries where you are but also that you are not home.
To protect yourself and people around you from the risks due to Geotagging, here are some tips:
1. Keep the Geotagging feature OFF for some applications like Camera or Facebook by default:
How do I turn Location ON or OFF for Camera?
Android: On most Android phones, you can just open the camera app and tap on the “Settings”. From the Settings, scroll down until you see the option “Locations tags” or “Geotags” and disable it.
iPhone: Launch “Settings” from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad. Tap “Privacy” and scroll down to the “Location Services”. Select “Camera” and then select “Never” to disable the Geotagging.
How do I turn Location ON or OFF for Facebook?
Go to your device's home screen. Tap “Settings”, then tap “Apps”. Scroll through the list of apps and tap Facebook. Tap “Permissions”, then next to Location, tap to turn Location ON or OFF.
2. When to use the geotagging feature and when not to: Be very selective on when to use the geotagging feature. Avoid using this feature on special occasions like:
· Your or someone else’s home parties. This gives away the home location.
· Children photos.
· You can choose to keep the feature on in public locations, while vacationing. However, this does reveal that you are not home.
3. Share with your family and friends: Make sure that your near and dear ones understand the kind of information they are sharing unknowingly.
2. Be selective in what you post: Always think what you are posting on social media. It can be assumed that what you have posted will forever stay on internet.
It is important to keep up to date with new technologies and its various features like Geotagging. If you would like to use this feature, make an intentional and informed choice of doing so.
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