Smartphone Photos: How They Can Make You a Target for Crime

By | March 1, 2012 at 10:48 am | No comments | General Tips | Tags: , ,

Hey Bubbas, check this out:

Who doesn’t use their multifunctional iphone or Blackberry or Android phone take snapshots, post photos on the web, and share family moments with friends and contacts? You might not if you knew how easy your smartphone photos can set you up as a potential crime victim. Most of the new smartphones not only have really good built in cameras, but they have GPS locators and software, and now, they quite often embed GPS location data into that photo.  So far, very fun for gadget heads and folks who like to remember where a photo was taken, or have the date and time electronic stamped into their pictures for posterity.  One big problem: when you post those photos on your social media or photo sharing site, that info goes with it, and with easily found software, anyone that can see your photos, can see that same location data.

Still not convinced there’s a problem? Think about it Bubba… every time someone in the family posts some family photos on Facebook, or Flickr, or just emails them to relatives… you’ve just sent the world your exact whereabouts. Take some photos of your kids at school? Now we all know what school they go to. Do you want to advertise where your kids or grandkids go to school? Where they hang out?  KSHB, the NBC affiliate in Kansas City, MO had a great report on this electronic risk.

We searched by entering the names of area cities.  We easily identified the home addresses and play areas of children whose pictures were posted by their parents. “That is legitimately terrifying,” said Ms. McDonald when we showed her information we obtained from pictures she posted of daughter Laine…. It’s a new and frightening threat to parents. The full risk is even an unknown to many internet crime experts, like Leawood School Resource Police Officer Mark Chudik, who said he’d never seen private information shared so quickly in such an unknown manner. He calls the hidden smartphone data today’s biggest risk online.

Their video gave an incredible demonstration of just how easy it would be to map out you or your family’s daily habits, their hangouts, even which part of the house you can be found in.

Maybe you think this is only a big deal if someone is stalking you or a family member.  (Do you have dating age daughters???)  Or if someone wants to actively target you for whatever reason.  However, when you put this information out there, you are basically INVITING someone to track your whereabouts.  You’re making it too easy for them. And we’d like to point out that it’s not just snapshots to worry about. Anything that involves “geotagging” (where location data is supplied with your social media posts, videos, photos, etc.) puts you or family members at risk.  Make sure you and your family does not have GPS features or geotagging enabled for their social media apps, sharing, or email communication functions. Don’t let your smartphone photos make you a target for crime.

original article here. 



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