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Photo's hidden data holds secrets - your exact location

Photo's hidden data holds secrets - your exact location
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words – but that's just on the surface. What's hidden inside your smartphone photos could be worth much more.

Without even realizing it, you could be sharing much more than your fun vacation memories online. You could be sharing the exact location you took the photo.

That's because any photos you take with your smartphone are "geotagged" with EXIF data. This means the GPS from your phone attaches a location, time and date to your photos automatically.

What's the problem? A photo's location, time and date can tell anyone that you're not home. If the wrong person finds out you are out of town, chaos could ensue.

Just ask this former NFL star. A group of teens found out on Twitter that he wasn't home for a weekend and threw a huge party at his mansion, causing thousands of dollars in damage. Even worse, burglars routinely use information like this to target victims.

Your kids or grandkids could be sharing where their home, school, and favorite hangout spots are. There are plenty of terrible people who love having that kind of information.

Of course, these are worst-case scenarios, but the threat is real. Luckily there are a few steps you can take to remove this information from your photos.

Next page: Put a stop to your photos revealing location

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