This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

How To Video: Disable mobile geotagging

About Video Transcript

How To Video: Disable mobile geotagging

2:21 /

Location services can be useful, but you may be exposing more than you think. Sharon Vaknin explains the security risk of geotagging and how to disable it.

Almost everyone with a smartphone has a built-in camera or two with them wherever they go. But when you take a photo with that camera, you're actually capturing more than you think. I'm Sharon Vaknin and today I'll show you how to disable geotagging on your mobile phone. Your camera's geotagging feature embeds latitude and longitude coordinates in your photos, so whenever you take a snapshot, you can see the exact location of where it was taken, but you're not the only one who can see this location data. If you take a photo of your cat and post it on Twitter, your secret admirer could pick out your house within 15 feet. That's pretty accurate. So, if you don't want to share your coordinates with the world or you wanna save a lot of battery life, the next logical step would be to disable geotagging on your phone. If you have an Android device, start the camera app and select "Store Location" and set it to off. If you don't see this icon, try opening the menu instead. You can also completely disable the GPS on your Android. Go to "Settings," "Location and Security," and uncheck "Use GPS Satellites." Of course, this will keep any app from recording your location, so if the app is location-based like Foursquare or Google Maps, it won't work. Apps that find nearby venues like a movie theater won't work either. Now, for all you iPhone users out there, you can find these options under "Settings," "General," then "Location Services." Make sure it's off for your camera app and any other app you don't want tracking you. Here, you can also completely disable your GPS by turning location services off. Finally, if you're on a BlackBerry, open the camera app and head to "Options." Set "Geotagging" to disable. On some BlackBerry models, once you open the camera app, you'll need to click the GPS icon instead. The cross hair without the signal bars means geotagging is off. To disable GPS tracking entirely, go to "Settings," "Options," then head to "Advanced Options." Click "GPS" and turn GPS services off. Disabling GPS will also give you longer battery life and speed up some applications. Of course, if you're really worried about your privacy and you've been posting geotagged photos all over the place, the best thing to do now is go delete them. For CNET.com, I'm Sharon Vaknin and I'll see you on the interwebs.

New releases

This pocketwatch smartphone is designed with inner peace in mind
1:24 March 4, 2015
We get our hands on a prototype of Runcible, an oddly-shaped phone designed to be less distracting and intrusive than regular mobi...
Play video
Firefox phones range from high end to super, super affordable
1:19 March 4, 2015
Why would you want a browser-based phone like a FireFox phone? Maybe because costs as little as $23. A look at three phones for Japan,...
Play video
We experienced the future of VR with HTC Vive
2:55 March 4, 2015
What does HTC and Valve's new VR gaming hardware do? We tried it out and were blown away.
Play video
LifeBEAM Smart Hat checks heart rate on your head
0:54 March 4, 2015
It's a hat. It's a heart rate hat. Why? Well, see for yourself. Heads-on in Barcelona.
Play video
High-tech dog collar does bark notification and streaming video
1:34 March 4, 2015
Motorola's Scout 5000 and Scout 2500 get you more data on your dog. Hit play to find out more.
Play video
NAD Viso HP50 headphone: An audiophile-grade headphone that won't break the bank
1:39 March 4, 2015
The well-designed and comfortable NAD Viso HP50 ($300) is all about clean, very accurate sound, making it an audiophile favorite.
Play video
Gorgeous Nokia N1 is iPad Mini's Android twin
2:25 March 4, 2015
This portable tablet impressed us with its matte silver finish and Android OS. Too bad it only sells in China.
Play video
Sony Xperia E4G does big battery on a budget
0:56 March 4, 2015
Sony says its new smartphone will last an impressive two days before it needs charging. We go hands-on at Mobile World Congress.
Play video