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How to make your photos more private on social media
Quote:“A picture is worth a thousand words,” so the old adage goes. Today, with virtually all photos taken digitally and in higher quality, they hold more information than ever before.
There’s a lot that we can glean from photos at face value: Who’s in it, what’s happening, and where. But with photos taken at higher definition, and on devices that track your location, people can learn more about your photo—and you—than perhaps you might want them to.
What can people find out from your photos?
Last year we wrote about a data experiment in which millions of cat images on hosting sites like Twitpic and Instagram were pinned on a map along with each cat’s location, determined from the latitude and longitude coordinates in the photos’ metadata. If it can be done with cats, it can be done with people, too.
When your geotagging settings are turned on in your camera or camera app, the photos you take will have [b]location data[/b] included in their metadata, down to the exact latitude and longitude. Anyone who has access to your photos can retrieve the metadata with little difficulty and can determine where you were when you took the photo.
And with the quality of photos are becoming clearer with each new phone model, the task of stealing your biometric data is getting a little bit easier, in particular when it comes to [b]your fingerprints[/b]. Real-world examples of identity theft using photos of fingers are virtually nonexistent, but in theory someone with an image of your fingerprint would be able to get into your phone that used fingerprint authentication.
Lastly, and perhaps most alarmingly, a stalker once found a celebrity’s home through the reflection in her eyes alone and attacked her. While this is incredibly rare, it is still an example of how photos can give away information in the most unexpected ways.
How to make your photos more private
1. Strip the metadata
Each photo taken on your device contains Exchangeable Image File (EXIF) data, which specifies the formatting of the photo as well as other details of the image like location data.
The easiest way to remove this metadata is to disable geotagging on your devices to stop them from being tracked in the first place (iOSAndroid).
[Image: private-photos-social-media.jpg]

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