Your phone may be giving away your location - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Your phone may be giving away your location

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A picture is worth a thousand words but did you know that some of today's pictures are also pin-pointing your exact location?  When you take a photo on most smart phones or digital cameras you get an added bonus called a geotag.  It might broadcast your exact location when posting pictures on sites like Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, Craigslist, or photo sharing sites. 

Take this quick quiz to see if you can guess how many photos are uploaded to Facebook alone each day?

500 thousand

50 million

100 million

ANSWER: 100 million (and growing!)

THE THREAT

  1. There are tools that can surf the web looking for geotags and "home" so criminals search profiles and then look for tags such as "vacation" or "get away" so they can pinpoint people away from home.
  2. When you post a photo, anyone with a free app like Exif can plug your geocodes in and Google map the location

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  1. You can leave the geocoding alone but be careful about when you upload or the taglines you place on the photo
  2. You can follow the steps you need to in order to disable it.  Be aware that if you turn off GPS that may impact your ability to use tools like Google Maps or other live navigation tools on your phone For instructions on how to disable this function, go to ICanStalkU.com.

OTHER RESOURCES YOU MAY FIND HELPFUL:

PROTECTING YOURSELF:  For other tips on internet protection, go to http://www.cyberangels.org/

GEOTAGS:  To see what a geotag looks like, go to:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Geotagging_gThumb.png

MAP CREATED WITH GEOTAGGED PHOTOS:  http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/examples/google_photo_map.html

HOW THEY FIND YOU:  To see how cybercreeps might find you, go to this link to see how many people can be geolocated on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/ICanStalkU

TURN OFF:  For tips on how to turn off geocoding photos:  www.ICanStalkU.com

VICTIM RESOURCES:  If you believe you are a victim of stalking, please go to the Department of Justice website:  http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/help/stalk.htm

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