How to Disable Your Phone’s Geotagging Service and Why It Matters
If you have an iPhone, knowing how to disable your phone’s geotagging service could just possibly save your life. If you’re like me, you probably spend time taking and uploading photos to various social networks. The scary news? You could be unintentionally geotagging the pictures you post to your networks, meaning you’re giving anyone with access to your profiles a map to your location. And although that revelation is alarming, it’s truly frightening, especially if you are single and/or if you have kids and are unwittingly broadcasting your location.
How Does Geotagging Work?
Geotagging is something you might unknowingly have enabled. If you have your Location Settings on, your camera will automatically tag the exact location where the photo was taken. If you post them publicly, even in an email, anyone with access to those pictures can pinpoint exactly where you took the picture (with as much accuracy as your child’s bedroom). If someone wanted to find out more about where you spend time, he or she might simply go to your Facebook profile and start checking to see if your pictures are geotagged (so easily). Did you take a picture of your child on the first day of school? Do you take pictures at home? At your favorite park? Anyone who wants to know your favorite hangouts just found them all by simply visiting your Facebook page.
Before you have a full-on panic attack, take a deep breath. There’s a solution when it comes to sharing your photos online but still protecting yourself and your family, and it comes down to checking your iPhone’s location services.
How To Disable Geotagging
On the iPhone, go to Settings. From there, go to Location Services.
Found it? Good. Now, I know it appears that I have location services enabled on my phone, but wait!
The newest iOS lets you pick & choose what services you want to have geotagged. Find the Camera & turn it off. We’d suggest turning most of them off, for safety’s sake. I typically only use location services with apps that are useful for mapping information, such as Maps and Weather.
A local news station recently did a story on the potential danger of geotagging your photos, and as I watched the video above, I was terrified that I would go to my phone and find that I had this setting enabled. Thankfully, I did not. We know the risks of not protecting our privacy online, but I know that I’ve had moments of wondering, “What’s the big deal?” However, a stranger knowing the exact locale of my childrens’ bedrooms? That’s a HUGE deal.
So what are you waiting for? Change those settings! And if you don’t have an iPhone, you can check ICanStalkU.com for instructions on how to disable geotagging on a variety of other devices.