I learned a very scary thing today.
Some of you may have already heard this, but it was news to me--even the Mythbusters weren't aware of this one. If you're using your cell phone or a digital camera to take pictures, you may be giving anyone who looks at those pictures not just your home address, but also, a "map" of your daily routines or the places you frequently visit.
Yep, that's what I said. If you post that gold bracelet you want to sell on Ebay or craiglist.com using a smartphone with GPS capabilities, or a digital camera, you may be telling a criminal how to get to your house and steal that bracelet. Ditto that shot of that brand new car you're so proud of--if you posted it on your blog, a car thief now may know just where to find it. Even that cute pic of your puppy posted on Facebook can be used to pinpoint exactly where that puppy and her "parents" live.
All they have to do is right-click on the photo to receive data that can lead them right to your house or anywhere else you've gone. Some stalkers and other criminals have used Facebook photos to map out the daily routines of their victims.
Watch the video below for details, and then go to this site, for information about how you can shut this feature off in your cameras and smartphones:
After using the instructions for Blackberry smart phones on that Web site (use the simple one posted last in the Blackberry section), I discovered that that the geotracking function was already disabled. So that seems to be the default for those phones. But I'm having my family and friends all use these instructions today, to make sure.
I still wonder about all the older pics I've posted from 'way back when, posted from other phones I've had. But I'm going to do some checking over the next few weeks, to see if any of them need to come down.
Happy hunting, friends! Better safe than sorry, though, right?
Note: Gabby asked me about the things I use to help with Net security. There are several. First, I use Firefox, which allows you to use addins that block a lot of the culprits who track your info secretly. But in addition to that, I use an addin you can find here:
And to back track and scrub my info off the sites I've long forgotten (they even got the pics of my house off Google and Bing), I used these guys--they're amazing:Reputation Defender