Editorial: Photo geo-tags - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Editorial: Photo geo-tags

Source: WBRC Source: WBRC

The following is an editorial from FOX6 WBRC-TV General Manager Lou Kirchen, first aired on Tuesday, June 11:

That sweet picture of your little one, the one you took with your smartphone and had to share with friends and family online, could be putting your child at risk. Web photo geo-tags are bits of data embedded within photos taken with smart phones that can reveal the exact location of where the photo was taken.

How exact? According to an article on the website of the Better Parenting Institute, with available software and unless you ensure that your photos are kept private, the geo-tagged photos can be uploaded or linked from popular websites into maps which can pinpoint the exact location where the photo was taken, that is, the school, the daycare center, the home or even the bedroom.

How can you get rid of these high tech invisible trails to you and your family? The Better Parenting Institute tells us there are a couple of ways.

Go to settings on your phone to where your GPS is controlled. It will be under the Location Services setting. You can then go to Camera and turn off the tracking device for just your camera. Or you can turn off some or all of your other GPS settings.

An additional important step to take to keep your online photos secure is to make sure that the online servers' settings are restricted to private.

Photos taken with our phones and our children's phones have become an important and fun part of daily life giving us the ability to capture and share important moments instantly and easily. Please take the simple but extremely important steps to protect your family from those who could potentially use your family's personal information to harm them or you.

What do you think?

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