Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. Thanks to privacy settings, you can easily share stories and photos only with people you know. Even with the latest privacy tools, people still tend to overshare.
Did you know that people can pinpoint your address through data hidden in your images? Scary thought. You can go through your social media accounts and delete old posts and pictures, but this is time-consuming. Tap or click here to check out a free app that does it for you.
Twitter is also recording your exact GPS location when you post. This could be dangerous if you’re tweeting from home. We’ll show you what you can do about it.
Here’s the backstory
When posting on Twitter, you have the option to tag local hot spots as well as the area you’re posting from. For example, your post can say that you’re at the Colosseum in Rome. This is a neat way to share your experience with followers, but it also leaves you exposed. If you’re tweeting from home, risks are even higher.
This feature works in some locations, and the data is provided by Foursquare and Yelp, according to Twitter’s Help Center. If you use Twitter from your Android or iOS device, the tweet may also include your precise GPS coordinates.
While your post won’t show this information, it can be found through the Twitter Application Programming Interface or API. If a hacker exploits the API, they can learn where you live.
Not at all surprising
Social media sites are hungry for your data. They track what you post and what you like so they can build a profile of you. From there, they can show you targeted ads or share the data they gathered on you with third parties.
Location tracking is just another example of this. While you can turn it off, be aware that social media sites are always taking more than you realize.
Turn off location sharing
You can turn off location information for your recent tweets via the app’s settings. Here’s how:
- Open the Twitter app and tap on your profile picture.
- Select Settings and privacy.
- Tap Privacy and Safety, then Location information.
- Toggle off the switch next to Personalize based on places you’ve been.
- Tap Precise Location and make sure the switch is toggled off.
You can delete all location information attached to your tweets from your computer:
- Log into your account at twitter.com.
- Select More from the left menu.
- Go to Settings and privacy, then Privacy and safety.
- Select Location Information, then Add location information to your Tweets.
- Select Remove all location information attached to your Tweets.
It’s all up to you
While it’s important to explore social media privacy settings, in the end, your actions will determine how exposed you are. You don’t need to let people know where you are at all times. If you’re at a famous landmark or restaurant, it may have its own Twitter profile you can tag. If not, simply add the name with a hashtag.
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