How To Video: Disable mobile geotagging
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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.

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