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safely sharing photos
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Kim's column

Most people make this major mistake: Sharing photos

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You meet someone on a dating app, then take the conversation to text messages. Things are going well, and you send a picture of the sunrise one morning. Harmless, right? Boom! You may have just given away your exact location.

Our tech stores all kinds of tidbits about where we are, what we’re doing, when we’re doing it, you name it. Suspect someone is cheating? Tech leaves those breadcrumbs, too.

Our apps and services are tracking where we are, too. You can put a stop to that. While you’re at it, let’s make sure you’re not giving away more than you bargained for via your pics.

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It’s all in the metadata

Every time you snap a picture, your phone stores metadata. That includes details like the device you took it on, your camera settings and where you took it. This is also known as EXIF data.

Sending someone a picture you took at a public place? Not a huge deal. What about when you have sent picture after picture from the same location? Anyone who knows how to access this info now knows where you live.

Here’s how to stop oversharing

To stop location sharing on iPhone:

  • Open the image you want to share and tap the share button (it looks like a square with an arrow pointing up).
  • Next, select Options, and toggle off Location. Tap Done and you’re all set.

It’s a pain to do this for every picture, so you can also disable this location tracking in your camera altogether.

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap Privacy & Security > Location Services.
  • Scroll down and tap on Camera, then select Never.

On Android, here’s how to wipe a single photo:

  • Open your gallery and select the photo.
  • Go to Details (it may be a three-dot menu) and click Remove location data.

To disable your location from photos for good, do this:

  • Open the Camera app’s settings.
  • Turn the location setting off.

What about social media?

By default, the major social media sites strip out photo metadata when you upload. Hey, look, there’s one thing they’re doing for our privacy.

Don’t worry about someone downloading your pictures from Instagram or Twitter. They won’t find any hidden details.

Keep your tech-know going

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

PODCAST PICK: Musk’s Honest AI, free $ from Facebook & states ban TikTok

Plus, are you being stalked online? Forensic expert Ricoh Danielson gives tell-tale signs and tools to find the person. Also, why Google went down $57B in one day and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth security gotchas. And a hidden secret ID on your phone that gives away your private details to anyone.

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Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”

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