Protect yourself from over sharing information on your smartphone


by WHAS11

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 11:26 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 25 at 11:26 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- How smart is your smartphone? It could be storing and sharing more information about you than you think.

Every time you share a picture of your kids, or pose for a "selfie" some sites are sharing your location, without you knowing.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  If that's the case, we're talking a lot nowadays. With a camera always in hand.

“The pics that people take on their smartphones have latitude and longitude…allow people to see where you were when that picture was taken," Dan Jackman, with the FBI cybercrimes task force, said.

WHAS11’s Kelsey Starks was able to find out online about her kids, house, school, where she shops and the park her family visits. It as all mapped out for anyone to see on Instagram.

Even some of the most tech-savvy people in the WHAS11 newsroom were caught off guard.

It’s called Geotagging and it happens automatically with every picture you take on your smartphone.

After users voiced privacy concerns on Facebook and Twitter, those sites now erase or scrub the information and leave it up to you to tag your own location.

But Instagram and other newer apps use it automatically because you give it to them every time you post a picture.

 “You've only got 10 friends but it’s the friends of friends of friends who can still see your pictures. Your pictures are out there to everybody,” Jackman said.

There is a way to stop it but you have to physically do so yourself. If you go to setting, privacy and then location services; from there you can choose the ones you don’t want to be mapped.

So be careful who you're asking to look and where. With the same touch of a screen, the power is in your hands.

Disabling this type of Geotagging works on other apps too, but there are all kinds of apps and games that collect your information.

Police say the most important thing to do is read the fine print before downloading anything. The most cyber crimes still happen from people who give out more information online than they should.

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