The big mistake you make when sharing photos and that can accidentally reveal where you are

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Sending an image taken from your mobile phone can reveal your location due to an option built into the camera.

Sharing images or videos has become a custom associated with having a smartphone in Spain. It not only happens on social networks, but on many occasions a photograph is taken to send via instant messaging or email to illustrate a situation. However, This everyday action carries significant risks. for privacy.

It is clear that it is dangerous to share every aspect of one’s life on social networks, since personal information can be revealed. However, there are times when sending them can also entail some danger, since contain data with which you can obtain the location where the photograph was taken.

However, it is also possible to make these details, called metadata, disappear from images before sharing them. In fact, some brands like Xiaomi have an integrated option for this within their settings, which makes the process more comfortable.

All cameras and smartphones save some technical information every time they take a photo. This is stored in the image file, and to access it you have to expand details when viewing on computer, mobile or tablet, since they are attached data. In Google Photos, without going any further, just swipe up to display a tab with the metadata.

It contains details about the sensor that took the photo, such as the aperture, the type of sensor, the capture speed or the ISO that was used. This helps photographers be aware of important details in order to edit the photograph, among other things. It also shows the resolution and, in many cases, may even show the specific location of the photo, which can be a privacy issue.

Metadata in Google Photos

After all, in many cases, there is nothing wrong with exposing technical information about the photograph, unless you want to hide it for professional reasons. However, if a photo is taken at home, it may contain the exact location, and This is more compromising. Same as date and time data. Seeing a breakdown of this data is not at all complicated, and there are even some platforms that directly translate the coordinates of the files to a specific address, displaying it directly on Google Maps.

It is true that there are some platforms, such as WhatsApp, that By compressing the image to send it they can eliminate some of these technical details about it. However, if the medium through which it is sent does not carry out any type of compression, or the image is sent as a file, they will continue to reveal said data.

On Android, when you start the camera for the first time, it usually asks if you want the location to be saved every time you take a photo, which will add this information to the metadata, so you have to answer no. If this option is active, it is possible to deactivate it from the internal settings of the camera app. This is enough so that it does not appear in the images and videos that are made.

This also happens with videos, so it is advisable to disable this camera option. If you want to share a file taken before doing so, it is best to delete its data. There are some applications specialized in eliminating this type of information before sharing it. One of them is Photo Metadata Remover, which shows great detail of the EXIF ​​data – they are also called this – before proceeding to delete it. Other alternatives like Exif Eraser include an option with which you can do the process automatically in a folder.

EXIF data taken from Jimpl

If you want to delete them from your computer, there are also some online options that allow you to do so. One of the most interesting is Jimpl. This website supports files of a maximum of 50 MB, and Before offering the option for the metadata to be deleted, it shows it in great detailand it’s something that anyone you send to can do.

Some brands, such as Xiaomi, have an option in the customization layer that allows you to delete the metadata when sharing the image. To do this, you have to go to the native gallery, click on the three-dot menu, click on Settings and activate the boxes in the Secure Sharing section. Any of these methods is valid to eliminate metadata so that no stranger can see smartphone or geolocation information.

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise