Sponsor Robert Siciliano as he runs the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, Children's Hospital Boston
ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.

FREE EBOOK

Check here if you're human

Sponsors

Removing Location data from Mobile Pics

0
Pin It

Those cutesy photos in your phone of your puppy can reveal your location because the images leave footprints leading straight to your home. The trace data is called EXIF: exchangeable image file format. It may contain GPS coordinates of where you took the photos.

6WApple’s and Google’s smartphones ask owners if it’s okay to access their location. Click “okay,” and this means every photo you take gets tagged with GPS coordinates. Thieves look for this information, which remains with images that are uploaded to Flickr, Photobucket, etc. (Facebook strips EXIF.) Crooks or pervs can then use Google Maps to get your exact location.

Prevent Geotagging: Six Steps

  • For social media applications, turn off the location services.
  • For iPhone, go to Settings, Privacy, Location Services, and turn off the location services.
  • For Android, go to Settings, Location Services, and turn off the location services.
  • There are apps such as Pixelgarde that wipe geotags from existing online photos.
  • For computers, Windows can strip out the EXIF; just right click the image, click Properties, then in the “details” tab, hit the Remove Properties and Personal Information.
  • Mac users can use XnView, but this bulk-stripper works also for Windows.
  • Run Hotspot Shield which masks your IP address creating an incomplete profile of location data.

Many people don’t even know that photos store location information. You’re a walking map unless you take certain steps to protect your privacy. With those pictures you take with a smartphone camera, you also record all sorts of goodies like shutter speed, type of camera, date the image was taken, and of course…GPS coordinates. Here are the details for protecting your privacy:

Windows Phones

  • Select photos in Windows Explorer.
  • Right-click them, hit Properties.
  • Beneath the Details tab, click “Remove Properties and Personal Information.”
  • A window will pop up; hit Okay.
  • You’ll see a copy of each right-clicked photo in that same folder. The copied images are safe to upload.

Mac OS X

  • Use an app called SmallImage. Download the file.
  • Open the app; drag photos into its window.
  • Uncheck the box called “Recompress at quality.”
  • Click “Process,” and the copied photos will appear in the folder.
  • To replace the original photos rather than make duplicates, uncheck the “Add Suffix” box.

Linux

  • You’ll need a tool, EXIFTool. Install it on Ubuntu by running this command: sudo apt-get install libimage-exiftool-perl.
  • Next, to create clean copies of your photos, cd to their folder, then run: exiftool -all= *.jpg.
  • It will then generate copies of the photos

There exist a number of other programs for removing location data from your mobile phone, but the steps described here are among the easiest.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures.

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

Similar Posts

  • How to Stop Sharing Your Location Information
    The Internet helps us connect and share with people around the world, but there are some people with whom you definitely shouldn’t be sharing your information. Although it’s not pleasant to think about, it’s not just friends and family that can see your online posts, bad guys can too, including criminals and even sex offenders. So,
  • Burglars Use Social to target Victims
    So you think it’s really a far-out left-field idea: a burglar studying Facebook and other social media to select homes to rob. Well think again. A survey, conducted by home security expert Friedland, found: 78 percent of burglars use social media to select targets. 74 percent touted the virtues of Google Street View. 54 percent pointed out how risky
  • Is that Viral Story real?
    The Internet has almost as many videos as there are stars in the heavens. And you know that some have to be hoaxes. Sometimes it’s obvious, while other times it’s easy to be fooled. For example, the hoax of the “angel” intercepting a truck just about to run over a bicyclist is obviously fake. Isn’t
  • Geo-tagging: Is Your Smartphone Revealing Your Location?
    Location-based services utilize geo-location information tied to your phones GPS and in some cases your carriers connection and even WiFi Geo-location or geo-tagging can be used on PCs, but is primarily applicable to mobile phones. The geo-location software usually obtains its data from your device’s Internet protocol (IP) address or your global positioning System (GPS) longitude and latitude.
  • How to prevent your Pics from being lifted: Part 1 of 2
    You need not be a celebrity or some big wig to suffer the devastating fallout of your online images (and videos) being stolen or used without your permission. So how does someone steal your image or use it without your permission? Hacking Hacking is one way, especially if passwords are weak and the answers to security questions can

Comments are closed.

Xtreme School

Featured in

Anderson Cooper John Stossel Robert Siciliano Featured in
Browse by Month

Browse by Category