Cyber Security Month Tech Tip #10
Welcome again to another Cyber Security Awareness Month tech tip. All October long digital citizens all over the Internet will share tips and best practices they use to help protect their digital lives. For most people online cyber security is not a top priority. Not always because they don't care. Mostly it is because they have never thought about the implications of their actions online. Actions like pressing “Reply All” to a mass email or checking in at a location on a social network can leave data about ourselves open for people we don't intend to see and use against us. That is why great thought and care must be used when doing anything online.
Be Careful With Your Location
Never before in history have human beings been able to record their lives in such detail as they do now. With the modern smartphone anyone can catch the most mundane to life defining events in high definition. Be it with a simple image, video, algorithmically generated filter, or augmented reality moments can never be forgotten. With the help of a GPS radio though locations can be remembered forever as well. Don't get me wrong. Location data on photos can be a very useful feature. But in the wrong hands and with enough data someone can map out your entire routine. Enough photos during the day when you should be working and your job location can be figured out. Same at night and now your home address is exposed. So location should be a very private and secure part of your digital identity.
Strip Location From Public Posts
When sharing details about your life publicly you should try to remove location data from your photos and video. Especially if your are sharing around areas you are at everyday (i.e. home, work, regular restaurants, post office, etc.). Directions are different for each platform you use so you should become familiar with them all.
- When emailing photos to people you are not completely familiar with use an app or the operating system your are using to strip location data from the images.
- When sharing photos though a social network (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) or a photo storage service (Google Photos, Flickr) make sure photos shared though the service removes or blocks location data.
- If possible use photo editing tools to create a soft focus effect that will obscure landmarks and street signs in your photos.
Location information in the wrong hands can compromise the digital and real world safety of not just your but your friends and family. So it is important to take the proper precautions when sharing information online. Remember that all October long is Cyber Security Awareness Month #cybersecuritymonth. So please share any and all tips you either see or can think of that will help other digital citizens appreciate how important protecting their data and identities online is.