Avoid Digital Stalking – iPhone and iPod

With the latest advances in technology our world is getting more and more connected.  This connection is more prevalent today with the integration of GPS location built into almost every kind of device.  At first this seems like a pretty cool feature.  Giving you the ability to find out exactly where you took your picture using the embedded location called a geotag.  Unfortunately this information can be used in a malevolent manner as well.

Anyone can do some digging around online and find some family photos.  If these photos contain geotagging information simple tools can help them obtain personal information such as your home address or even your daily routine.  Adding to the modern digital stalker’s toolkit.  There are some simple things you can do right now to protect yourself online from digital stalking such as turning off the geotagging of the photos taken on your iOS device such as an  iPhone or iPod touch.  Below is a simple step-by-step outline of how to ensure geotags are not included in the photos you take.

  1. In the Settings App browse to the following location: General > Location Services.  You will see a screen similar to the one shown below.
  2. Make sure you turn off Location Services for the Camera App.
  3. As a good measure you should probably turn off Location Services to every App that doesn’t really need it.  For instance I only enable Location Services for Apps that give you directions such as Maps, MapQuest, or Compass.
  4. If the Camera App is not shown in the list this means you have not yet run the App.  When you run the application the first time it will ask you if you would like to enable Location Services using a dialog similar to the one shown below.  To ensure geotagging is not included make sure you say “Don’t Allow.”

Take these small steps to protect yourself online, a little goes a long way.