Exif Data: What Does a Photo Know about You?

The Internet has made the world smaller. Many Internet users enjoy sharing their daily life on social media networks. However, they might have left too much personal information on the Internet. Even an original photo knows much about you, including where you were while you took that photo and the device you used to take the photo.  

What is Exif? 

Exif is short for exchangeable image file format. It can record a lot of data.

  • Shooting data
  • Camera settings
  • Image processing parameter
  • Image description
  • Copyright information
  • Location information
  • Thumbnail

Reveal personal information

Photos taken with your mobile phone and GPS-enabled camera all contain Exif information. To share photos that contain Exif info is to share your sensitive information with others. People with ulterior motives will collect all this information and further compromise your privacy. For example, if you frequently post original photos that contain Exif info on Facebook, others will find out where you live, where you work or study and your frequently visited places.

Prevent your photos from revealing your private data

For the sake of your online security and privacy, you should take measures to prevent your photos from revealing your private data.

Disable geotagging for your camera. This can prevent your camera from adding location tags to your photos. For Apple users, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Camera > Never. For Android users, open camera > go to settings > disable location tags. There will be slight differences for different models of mobile phones. You can take our instructions as a reference.  

But you can’t stop your camera from adding Exif information to your photos. That is to say, others can still get other sensitive data contained in the Exif info. So, you’d better not share original photos with others. Many messaging apps allow you to send images with compression. Choosing this will effectively prevent others from accessing your confidential information attached to your photo. It is always safer to share compressed photos.

 If you have no choice but share the original photo, you should clear the Exif info before you share it. There are many apps on the market that will help you delete Exif info. You can choose a reliable one to remove all the private information in the Exif info.

In addition, you should also hide your IP address on the Internet to stop the spying eyes from tracking and monitoring you. RitaVPN is a good tool for you to achieve this.

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