Social Networking: How to keep the creeps from tracking you - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Social Networking: How to keep the creeps from tracking you

Social media, by definition, is social.

Your friends can tell where you are and what you're up to but are you also giving creeps a detailed map of your daily routine.

Many smartphones and digital cameras come with geotagging capabilities, which means the location the photo was taken is added to the photo. This information is then used by some applications, for instance to sort photos based on location.

The problem with geotagging is that the information can be read by anyone. If you upload a geotagged photo to the Internet then anyone with the ability to view the photo can check the location the photo was taken.

While that often is not a problem, some users may want to avoid this from happening because of privacy concerns. In addition, there is a chance that criminals exploit the photo information as well, either to find out that you are on holiday currently and not at home, or to locate you or the people on the photo in the world.

Geotag Security is a free software program for Windows that can remove geotags from photos. The program displays a simple wizard that walks the user through the removal of geotags in selected photos.


Simply, go into picture-taking mode (via HomeScreen, click icon "Camera"), press the Menu button and choose "Options". Set the "Geotagging" setting to be "Disabled". Finally, save the updated settings.

For iPhones running iOS 3.x
There are two ways to disable geotagging on iPhones running iOS 3.x

WARNING: Procedure #1 turns off ALL location based services for ALL applications. So if you're using an app that uses location based services like Google Maps or social networks like Facebook, Gowalla or Foursquare then skip to procedure #2.

Procedure #1
1. Go to Settings > General

NOTE: Procedure #2 will reset ALL location warnings so you'll have to reconfigure all apps using location based services.

Procedure #2
1. Go to Settings > General > Reset.

2. Select Reset Location Warnings.

*Be careful and make sure that you select "Reset Location Warnings" before proceeding to the next step.

3. Click on Reset Warnings

This procedure restores all Location based warnings to the app's default setting which is usually "Ask on first use". Next thing to do is, start up the Camera app on your iPhone and when prompted click on "Don't Allow". This will keep the Camera app from geotagging your photos and videos.

For iPhones running iOS 4.x
1. Go to Settings > General > Location Services.
2. Look for Camera and make sure that it's turned OFF.

If you have an Android phone, disabling geotagging in your photos is fairly simple. Just start your camera application and slide open the menu. Now, select Settings and check to see that the Geo-Tag Photos option is set to OFF. If not, set it to OFF.

Blackberry Phones

If you are a Blackberry user, it is similarly simple to turn off geotagging and protect yourself. Simply start your camera application from the home screen, press the Menu button, then select Options. Scroll to the geotagging setting and set it to Disabled.

There are numerous phones on the market.  The exact directions on how to disable may vary by phone but we suggest checking under the Options menu of the Camera application and also any kind of "Location" or "GPS" menu under your phone's control panel.

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