On many smart phones, each picture you take is encoded with the exact GPS coordinates of where it was taken, and if you upload the picture to the internet anyone could know where you are in seconds.
“It’s one more piece of a puzzle that someone who wanted to do something bad to you could use,” Clint Baxter with Jackson Technical told FOX23.
Geotagging is a big piece of that puzzle. When she snaps a cell phone picture Tulsa mom Janette Hammack could be unknowingly telling the world exactly where she is.
“As far as pictures of me and my child. when we're doing things and we're in our day to day routine, I might not want to be broadcasting that as much,” she said.
Inside the FOX23 studios we put geotagging to the test.
“If the geotagging information hasn't been stripped out, it will tell you the location of the photo, geographically where it was taken, and it will give you a link and you can click on it and you can go to a map and see where it was taken,” Clint explained as he showed Janette how the process works.
When we took a picture on her iPhone and sent it to a laptop. Instantly we could see where the photo was taken.
“I can click on Google maps, and it should show that we're in FOX studios and there we are,” Baxter explained.
It was scary fast and scary accurate.
“I knew that there was a way to change the setting on my phone, I just hadn’t done it because I didn't know how,” Hammack told FOX23.
Clint showed her how to turn the geotagging feature off on her iPhone.
“You can turn location services off so it's not active for any application on your phone,” he said.
When you do that you can rest easy that your pictures aren't leaving a trail.
When it comes to sites like Facebook and Twitter where you could be posting dozens of pictures every month, recently they have stripped all of the geotagging information from pictures posted on those sites.
To find out how to disable geotagging from your cell phone, click here: http://icanstalku.com/how.php