So much of being safe in life is about just being smart and using common sense. While traveling would you leave your purse sitting openly in the front seat of a locked car? Would you venture out in an area that you don’t know after midnight?
These same rules apply with new technologies like smartphones. Several of the major networks have been running stories on privacy issues resulting from new GPS ‘smart’ technology known as ‘geotagging’. Geotagging is the type of technology that smartphones use to track people’s locations. It is the technology that sites like Foursquare use as people ‘check-in’ to restaurants and businesses. Taking advantage of this technology also requires a new level of learning for people about their devices. Be responsible, take the time to learn what your technology is actually doing and what it all requires to be safe.
Here’s a short video from NBC Action News on the downside of uploading pictures.
Although it makes for a good story on network news, there really is no reason to panic. I attempted to find the GPS coordinates on several of my pictures. I found that it is not so easy. Now, I know that preditors and nutcases will sometimes go to any means, but I’m not convinced that even though, it’s possible, that there is a very high likelihood.
Use Safe Sites
That said, Facebook and Twitter have started stripping the metadata automatically from uploaded pictures, so there is some level of safety there. Be sure your privacy settings are set correctly.
Turn Off the Setting!
The easiest way to stop posting your location is to set your phone so your camera doesn’t log your location. It’s usually done by going to Settings> General > Location Services. Phones vary so if you can’t find it check out your user guide or check with your smartphone store. Some phones allow you to turn off just the geotagging on your photos and some may require you to turn off you geotagging altogether.
For more information about setting your phone correctly, check out I Can Stalk You’s information on protecting your information.
This has been Social Energizer’s Saturday Morning Post, a less business oriented, more personally related edition than our blog that is offered during the week. Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their visibility online.
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