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Geotagging

Personal information can be revealed in images and videos as well as text. For example, a photo of a young person in their school uniform can provide the name of the school they attend and their physical location on weekdays. There is also the issue of geotagging to be aware of.

Geotagging refers to the embedding of location data, such as GPS coordinates, in images taken on smartphones and high-end digital cameras. When these images are shared online, the location data is also shared and can be read by other users to find the location of where the image was taken. An image taken at home and then shared online could reveal the young person’s home address.  There have even been instances where someone has posted on their social media account that they are away on holidays, allowing clever criminals to search through the GPS coordinates embedded in other posts and break into their house whilst they are interstate on a vacation.

Location information can also be revealed by location-sharing apps and “checking in” on social network services. This functionality allows users to share their exact location in real time which can be great for connecting with friends, but could be misused if it ends up in the wrong hands.

So what advice can you pass onto to your child?

  • Disable geotagging on mobile devices and social media accounts (you can find out how to do that in our social media and reputation management booklet)
  • Avoid checking in at personal locations, such as your home or other people's houses, school, work or sporting venues