In Michael Snyder’s book, The Beginning of the End*, one of the main characters and his family get found because metadata taken from an old blog post gave their geo-location away. Do you want a real life example of this? Recently, John McAfee, who was on the run from Belize police was found because of a photo that was uploaded to the internet.
Have you ever thought about how much hidden information you are putting out there in your photos?
Smartphones are great. I have one and use it daily for all kinds of stuff. But when you take a photo with your phone and upload it to the internet, you might be giving away important information. According to MotherG, metadata can include: Copyright Information, Text comments/descriptions, GPS location, Original image thumbnail, Serial numbers, Image software (Photoshop), Date and time and Camera model.
So, if you take a picture with your smartphone, edit it with some other software, upload it to the internet, it could still include a thumbnail of the original pic and your GPS location. Wow!
Fortunately, there are some things you can do about this. There is software that will strip the meta data from your pics. One that you can use is Metability Quick Fix. The cool thing is that it’s free!
Here is a pic of a photo that I recently took with my smartphone at a gunshow. The price gouging is a whole different topic!!!!!
Using a free online website, Metapicz**, I uploaded my pic to check what I was revealing. I have GPS turned off on my phone, so it didn’t pick up that information. The website returned so much information about my picture that t I wasn’t able to pick it up with a screen shot.
Most of the information is related to my phone, etc… But it still is scary. What if I would have had my GPS function on? Keep reading!
After using Metability, I uploaded the pic again.
Look at the difference! My camera info. is gone!
I uploaded a pic to Metapicz, which was taken with an old phone, when I did have the GPS function on (before I knew better), and the website returned with a map of where the pic was taken!!!!! I’m not sharing that one with you! 😉
There is some good news for preppers who use Facebook and Twitter though. According to Networld.com, SOME social media outlets are deleting picture metadata information. You can believe this isn’t because or their good hearts though…
On both Facebook and Flickr, survey testers found that while the metadata was more or less retained upon upload, it disappeared when images are either saved locally or downloaded into other photo management software.
Image metadata was also deleted when saving a photograph locally after posting it on Twitter, the study showed.
Google+ and Tumblr, on the other hand, performed better on the test. The metadata for images hosted on Google+ remained intact for every test that was performed.
The bad news is, if you want to copyright your pics, you can’t do it. This leaves your pics to be picked up by anyone and used!
So many preppers are worried about OPSEC (operational security). How many are thinking about the information that they are putting out there with pics? There’s a lot to think about….
Be careful people!
* – I highly recommend Michael Snyder’s book Beginning of the End.
** – Don’t try this with a pic that you care about or a pic that was taken at a GPS location that you don’t want on the internet.
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