Thursday, September 5, 2013

Geo Tagging – What is geo tagging and risks involved in geotag photos

Internet, facebbok and twitter kind of social sites from smartphones is very common today. Photos clicked on smartphones are immediately shared on social media like facebook. The potential of sending the information to any corner of world is unbeatable and impressive. However, one needs to understand the risks involved in such spontaneous sharing of photos and information from smart phones. The feature is “Geo Tagging”. This is very useful feature of smartphone but at the same time equally dangerous. 
What is Geo Tagging?
It is the process by which geographical location information is added to various media. Location of earth at which smartphone photo is clicked is attached with photo because of geo tagging feature. So when these photos are published on internet, this location of earth information is also gets published. This information includes latitude, longitude, height, distance, name of place and many things related to location at which photo is taken. Hence people on earth now automatically know where do you stay, where are you right now and may be they can know if you are alone or not in home. So it becomes very easy for a person who wants to track or follow you. Especially Criminals may track information using geo tagging to identify next target for robbery. Action news in America few years back had conducted a program to improve overall literacy in people about geo tagging risks. Video is here -
Avoiding the risks of geotagging is a thing to keep in mind in this day and age of decreasing privacy.
So what exactly you need to do?
1.     Simple, turn off the geo tagging feature from smartphone unless very much required.  Obviously after this sharing photo will not be a concern and nobody will know about your whereabouts.
2.     Decide prioritites when to use geo tagging and when not to. For example, you can turn off geo tagging in private places like home, vacation places, school, relatives houses and etc.

3.     Know how to disable or enable Geo Tagging feature in your lovely smartphone.

4.     Don’t have public sharing often. Have controlled sharing pf photos between your friends only.

5.     Always check what geotag photo information you are leaving on internet and share it publicly.

6.     A very common platform to share photos is facebook. You can disable the geo tagging of facebook places.
Hope this helps.
Happy Geo Tagging!!!

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