I was recently emailed a news video that originally aired on NBC Action News in November of 2010. The subject line read: “Smartphone picture uploads can reveal the location of your children’s home, school, and play areas”. Now I would like to consider myself to be on the upper-scale of online savviness in terms of safety, but after watching the video I quickly realized that there was a new, and very scary threat that I was unaware of, and I can only imagine that many of you are right in line with me.
The Threat? Pictures you’ve e-mailed or uploaded from your smartphone could be leaking location information threatening the safety of you and your children.
With a technique that involves a free and easily accessible software, predators can locate your child’s home, school, day care, the park they play at, and even the location of the bedroom that they sleep in. And, it can all all be accessed from a picture that you upload onto the web via social networking sites such as Facebook, Photobucket, Twitter, and others using your smartphone! Even more terrifying is that the full risk is even unknown to Internet crime experts, reports NBC Action News.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
You must deactivate Geo tagging in your Smartphone device. In the iPhone you can turn off Geo-tagging going into Settings>Location Services. You will then be given the option to turn off all location services (this will also turn your maps off), or you can turn off specific location services. To protect you from “picture threat”, simply turn off the CAMERA’S location services. To learn how to disable Geo-tagging on other devices, visit ICanStalkYou.com. Additionally, check your settings on the online photo sites that you currently use and ensure that they are restricted to private.