Monday, December 28, 2015

Geotags


Everyone seems to want your location on the Internet. When you log into Facebook, open up Google, or join a new site and a prompt asks if you want to allow the site to use your location, what do you click?

Click no. Hell no.

Geotags are the geographical metadata attached to your device, that are telegraphed when you post from that device onto the Internet.

There may be times when using your location is unavoidable, such as if you want to use a weather app on your phone. It kind of needs to know what city you want the information for. That said, you still don't need to give the app your specific location, so disabling geotagging is not going to affect it.

If you open up Google maps on your mobile device, see where the arrow leads to before you open up the search bar. It leads right to the shingles on the roof of your house.

Check your settings right now on your phone or tablet. Make sure your exact geographical location is an empty box.

Here's why. When you take a photo of your kids in the back yard with your device, the geotag will publish your location right down to the shingles on your house. You might not think much about it, but what if you posted that picture on Twitter or Facebook? Then somewhere along the way, you mention a big trip you're going on. Vacation week in Hawaii. Thanks to your photos, now people know exactly what color your shingles are and that your house is going to be empty for a week.

Maybe people know you're single and live alone with a cat. That's all a sex offender needs to know after the geotags on your photographs can lead them straight to your house.

Perhaps I'm overreaching. The odds may be very slim, but why give crime a chance? Turn off your geotags. Strangers on the Internet do not need to know which house you live in. Heck, they don't even have to know the city, unless you post it.