How Hackers Track Your Photos and How to Stop Them in Their Tracks

Pictures are worth far more than most people think. They can describe moments in considerable detail. They can describe someone’s interests. They can even give away sensitive information that hackers can leverage against you.

The problem isn’t just what you photograph. Digital pictures can contain text information that describes your camera, the date and time a picture was taken, and where it was taken. It may even provide the savviest of hackers with information they can use to hack your phone if it doubled as your camera to take a picture.

The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to make it harder for hackers to track you by your photographs. Let’s examine some of those tips to enhance your privacy while you’re online.

Make Them Harder to Access

The first step in limiting how much information hackers can derive from your photos is to limit who can access them.

When you post your photographs on sites like Facebook and Twitter, make sure that you have the right privacy settings enabled. Make it so only certain people can see pictures that might contain sensitive information.

If you post your photographs to online picture sharing websites first, then create a private album to share them. Make your pictures unlisted. Do whatever you can to restrict everyone else’s ability to find your photos.

Remove Your Pictures

Another way to limit access to your photographs is to remove them from the public eye. While this won’t stop people who have already saved your photos from obtaining information from them, it can limit the damage that can be done.

Remove your photos when you’re done sharing them or change them to private. The less lasting information you leave available, then the less ammunition malicious people have to use against you.

Remove Metadata

Most devices add varying amounts of data to photographs. This can be something as simple as the file name showing incremental pictures or something as detailed as EXIF data.

The latter of those things, EXIF data, can be used by hackers to track your location and the type of device you used to take your picture. This can create a large amount of information that can give hackers far too much information.

The best way to strip this metadata is to simply disable it on your devices. You can disable things like your location on most phones. Some cameras allow you to completely remove EXIF data just by toggling one option.

If you have pictures that already have metadata attached to it, it’s generally easy to remove it. There are plenty of free and open-source programs that exist for the sole purpose of completely stripping metadata from your pictures.

Don’t Post Sensitive Things

It may seem obvious, but posting sensitive things is the easiest way to allow people to see them. By preventing yourself from posting photos with locations, identifiable people and other important traces of information, you disallow hackers from reading into your life.

Stopping yourself from posting photographs may be one of the most effective ways to keep your photos and sensitive information safe.

Photo Security Requires Staying One Step Ahead of Hackers

Hackers prey upon people whom have poor security with regards to their digital assets. They rely on poor security, extra details and sensitive details being posted by unaware individuals.

By employing better security practices, becoming more aware about technology and simply thinking before you post that next picture, you can protect yourself from hackers and any other malicious individuals looking to use your photos against you.
Related: 8 Tips to Protect Data in Your Android Device

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