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Do you own a smartphone? Do you post photos online on a regular basis? If so, you need to know about a new technology threat that lets hackers find your school, home, or work address by simply viewing your photo. An innocent picture lets hackers find you or your children’s locations. There’s a full thread available online regarding this activity; it’s the biggest online risk today.
Location-based data, in the form of Longitude and Latitude, is contained in images when Geotagging. Geotagging is where you tag your photographs with the geographic location. Most people aren’t aware that this takes place on their smartphones. In most instances it’s enabled by default and the user has no idea. As a result, information about their location is revealed publicly and to hackers.
In addition, you can find someone’s favorite places to visit. Smartphones leave a visible trail using the same geotracking technology that enables the social network website Foursquare. There’s even a website that details how photos from Twitter or Facebook can be translated into actual addresses and maps.
You can disable Geotagging on your smartphone. For iPhone users, Apple has simplified the way to turn off location settings on a per-application basis. To do so, go to your Settings, General, and then Location Services. From there, set which applications can access your GPS coordinates, or disable it completely.
With the variety of smartphones on the market, you’ll have to do a quick Google search and find instructions for your specific phone. You can also look in the Options menu of the camera. If it’s not there, check for any “Location” or “GPS” menu in your phone’s control panel or settings option.
It’s much better to be safe than sorry, and it’s worth taking the time to figure out how you can disable the Geotagging on your smartphone.