Geotagging

A popup appearing on a mobile screen and asking for accessing the user's locationDid you know that you could accidentally be sharing your exact location at any time with anyone in the world?

Location services such as geotagging and ‘checking in’ on social media can reveal where we are. We can accidentally share this information with almost anyone if we’re not careful.

Geotagging is when location data, such as GPS coordinates, are inserted into images taken on your mobile device. You may like to change the settings in the apps you use so that you’re not telling everyone where you are all of the time.

Commonly used location features:

  • ‘Checking in’ on Facebook when you want to tell your friends where you are.
  • ‘Photo Maps’ on Instagram that show your photos and videos based on where they were taken. Keep in mind that the exact locations of your photos or videos can be seen by anyone if your account isn’t set to private. This includes photos that are taken at, or near, your house, school or work.

Top tips

  • Read the privacy policies of the websites and apps you use.
  • Use the most secure privacy settings for your online accounts.
  • Before you download an app, check which features of your device (particularly the GPS function) it wants to use – turn off any that are unnecessary.
  • Some apps contain in-app purchases which can quickly add up on your phone bill. Read your device’s user guide to learn how to turn off in-app purchases.
  • Turn off geotagging on mobile devices and social media accounts.