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Tourists' photos are getting rhinos poached

Tourists' photos are getting rhinos poached
Tim Bennett/Twitter

If I said it once, I've said it a million times. You really need to be careful about what you post on social media sites.

When you snap a picture with your smartphone, more than just the image is saved. Your phone automatically attaches a time, date and other information to the photo. Your phone can even attach location information that reveals where the photo was taken.

This can be an invitation to bold thieves or kidnappers that see your photos ... or in this case, poachers in South Africa.

It turns out, these poachers are pretty tech savvy. They are using tourists' African safari photos posted to social media to lead them directly to the endangered rhinos located throughout South Africa's national parks.

“The method is to send a young couple on safari with a GPS-enabled smartphone, which they use to take a photo of the rhino. The exact co-ordinates are attached to the picture, allowing poachers to come in after dark and track the animal,” said Marc Reading, whose marketing and communications company represents South Africa’s national parks, in a 2012 interview with the Sunday Times (paywall).

 The picture below has been making the rounds on Twitter this week, too:

twitter, poachers, geotagged photos

Click here to find out how you can remove location data and other revealing information from your photos before you post them online.

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