Parents Corner Blog

Are you smarter than your smartphone?

Smart phones are becoming smarter by the day, so smart that they can accurately locate exactly when and where a photo was taken. Yes, this innovative function-called Geo-tagging- may seem very useful and creative but have you ever thought that while you were innocently posting a picture online, you may also have been posting your location for everyone to see, even if there are no well-known landmarks in the background.

According to Techopedia, “Geo-tagging is the process of adding geographical information to various media in the form of metadata. The data usually consists of coordinates like latitude and longitude, but may even include bearing, altitude, distance and place names.” To put it simply, geo-tagging is the marking of a picture, video or post with an embedded function of where you were when posting as well as where the photo was taken.

So why should you be cautious of this feature? When you post a picture of yourself standing next to your brand new flat screen TV, it may seem like a great way to show-off to all your friends and family but it could also let thieves know that you obviously have something worth stealing and where exactly to steal it from. The only job the thief has is to check for the geo-tag and… well… break in and help themselves to your stuff.

Of course Geo-tagging is not all bad. It can in fact be very useful. For example, Geo-tagging is useful when wanting to share your location when meeting up with friends at festivals or concerts. It can also be extremely useful in aiding search and rescue teams.

So, how do you switch this function off when using your camera and leave it on for the other functions where is may still be useful? Here’s how:

iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy.
  3. Select Location Services.
  4. Locate Camera from the list of apps that use Location Services and change the setting to OFF. If you want to switch off the location services for any other applications, you can do so here.

Android:

  1. Open the Camera app.
  2. Select the Location icon.
  3. Select Off.

Some versions of Android will need you to open the Camera app, select the Menu button on their phone, select Settings and disable Geo-tag photos.

BlackBerry:

  1. Open Camera.
  2. Select the Location icon and set it to Disabled.
  3. Select “Turn off

Previous versions will need to open Camera, press the Menu button and select Options. Then set Geotagging to Disabled.

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