Your Photos Contain a Lot More than Your Captures

We all take photos from our Mobile Phones and Digital Cameras and with the applications available at our dispose, We can upload them to every possible Social Network, Photo sharing sites at a click. These uploads can contain a lot more information about you than what you intended or expected to reveal.

Recent Happenings:

A Hacker who published the personal details of hundreds of police officers online was recently caught and unmasked, All this happened just because of a picture he uploaded on the internet.

The hacker had taken a Photo of his girlfriend from his iPhone and uploaded it directly to Twitter without realizing that the Photo he uploaded had GPS Co-ordinates attached with the photos which pointed directly to his house.

Most of the modern Smartphones have options that allow you to attach extra information to the Images that are captured. These data are known as Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF).

Take a look at the CameraZOOM FX Android App having an option to save GPS Coordinates.

Store GPS Location

Store GPS Location

EXIF data can contain a wide variety of information about the Photo embedded within the image. These information can range from just the Date when the photo was taken.. to the GPS Coordinates of the place where the photo was taken (as you already saw in the above case).

Worst of all, Many social networks still don’t strip out these unnecessary data, as you have seen the case with Twitter. P.S I haven’t personally tested this thing with Twitter but Facebook seems to be a good boy and strips out nearly (extremely in case of Cover Images! Sigh) all the unwanted data to save their server space. Yeah, Having these EXIF Data attached can weigh up your image sizes.

How to View the Embedded EXIF Data.

1. There are tools like EXIF Viewer for Firefox and EXIF Viewer for chrome available as Addons and Extensions.

2. Online tools like ExifViewer are available for uploading your Pics and viewing the embedded data.

3. Native Windows Properties Tab, Right click the Photo > Properties > Details Tab. There you have all the embedded information.

How to Remove EXIF Data from Photos.

EXIF Data can be removed from these photos using the following methods:

Method #1

Open the Properties > Details Tab and edit out the unwanted values.

Method #2

Use Adobe Photoshop > Open the photo > then File > Save for Web & Devices and make sure that “Metadata” is set to “None”.

Method #3

Use Image MetaData Stripper software. [LINK] Download the software > Open > Choose the image > EXIF Stripped (Done). Choose to make a backup.. just incase..

Next time before you upload a sensitive photo, Make sure you strip it up! Share this info if you found it useful :)

Comments

  1. says

    That’s new to me Anoop I didn’t know that photos taken by mobile phones could have that kind of data, thankfully I rarely take photos via my cell phone and ofcourse I never share them on the internet…

  2. says

    Thanks for the insights Anoop. Another good tool to remove EXIF information is Caesium, which is also used for compressing images, yet maintaining the quality.

  3. says

    Hi Anoop,

    Many thanks for sharing this article. It is great to have people like yourself to give advice to protect people online. I will share your advice on my Facebook business page. take care Rosemary

  4. says

    This is really very Informative Post. I like it very much. Thank you anoop for sharing this post. Now all those people who have read this post will always first clear their EXIF data from Images then upload on web.

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