Exif Data: What Does a Photo Say about You?

Exif Data What Does a Photo Say about You

The world has become smaller because of the Internet. We are used to sharing what we do and where we go on social media networks. But this will increase the risks of data breaches. You even don’t know how your privacy is compromised sometimes. Maybe it is a photo of you that reveals your sensitive data because the original photo stores the current location, date and camera you use.   

What is Exif data? 

Exif data is automatically added to your photo when you take it. The following information is included in the Exif data:

  • Shooting data
  • Copyright information
  • Camera settings
  • Thumbnail
  • Image processing parameter
  • Image description
  • GPS Location

The risks of photo sharing online

Photos taken with your mobile phone and GPS-enabled camera all contain Exif information. If you send photos that contain Exif info to others, your private information that is stored in the Exif data will also be sent to others. When people get your photos, they will gather all this information and further compromise your privacy. For instance, if you frequently post original photos that contain Exif info on Facebook, others will find out where you live, where you work or study and your frequently visited places.

Stop your photos from revealing your personal information

To protect your online security and privacy, you should take action to stop your photos from revealing your private data.

Turn off geotagging in your camera settings. In this way, your camera will not add location tags to your photos. If you are using Apple devices, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Camera > Never. If you are using Android devices, open camera > go to settings > disable location tags. The instructions might be slightly different. You can refer to the above steps to disable geotagging on your phone.   

However, it is impossible to prevent your camera from adding Exif information to your photos. In other words, the camera can always store some personal information in the Exif info. Thus, it is not advised to send original photos to others over the Internet. Now that you can send compressed images via most messaging apps, you should always check whether you are sending images with compression.

 If you have to share the original photo, we recommend you remove the Exif info before you share it. Many apps can be used to remove Exif info. You can also remove Exif info quickly and easily with the Windows file explorer.

Finally, you should also mask your IP address online to prevent spying eyes from tracking and monitoring you. RitaVPN is a good tool for you to achieve this.

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