Recently a friend sent me a link to the following video. It’s scary how ‘social’ information about where we are can be used against us. I guess now because of this and news stories like it, people really do know how to stalk each other electronically.
It can sound pretty creepy. Fortunately most people don’t have the skill to do this, however there are certainly a lot of people who do, and who will use it against you.
So we have a couple of options here – we can stick our heads in the sand and refuse to acknowledge the technology – its greatness and its dangers – or we can learn something about it. Here are a couple of definitions to get you started.
What is Geotagging?
Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media such as photographs, video, websites, or other media. It is added to EXIF data in a large number of mobile phones, and lately, digital cameras. Some people call it GPS tagging.
What is EXIF Data?
EXIF data (EXchangeable Image File) is data that is stored in jpeg and other image and video media files, and includes data such as shutter speed, date and time, focal length, exposure compensation, metering pattern and if a flash was used a the time a photo was taken.
Fortunately, you don’t have to stop taking photos and videos completely. There are some ways to protect yourself.
Disable GeoTagging on Phones
The first way is if you use your phone to take videos or photos, you need to reset or turn off the Geotag setting.
iPhones – Visit eHow – How to Disable Geotag on an iPhone to see how this is done.
Other Phones – there is a comprehensive guide on turning this Geotagging feature off on a number of phones, including Palm WebOS, Android and Blackberry over at the I Can Stalk You website.
I would encourage you to do this, or never take photos on your regular routine or at home.
Does your child or teen have a phone that Geotags?
Also, check your child’s phone to see if they are recording location data. Talk to them about it so that they know the bad side of what can be done with that information – show them the above video if it helps.
Creating awareness about how information is used is not only important, it allows them to think about other ways that information can be used, and also makes them aware of the information that is collected about them and how it can fall into the wrong hands.
Do you know of any other ways to disable geotags on phones? Please post in the comments if you do, and share this valuable information so that we can create awareness and others will benefit.
And then when you are finished with this, go on to read about password security.