IT expert: How To Avoid being Tracked by Photos – E Hacking News
The director of the company IT-Reserve Pavel Myasoedov spoke about how to protect yourself from surveillance using photographs.
Standards that allow attaching additional information to images have become widespread along with the development of digital cameras. One of the main collectors of this data is the EXIF standard, developed specifically for the most popular JPEG and TIFF image formats. That’s why many applications have the ability to sort photos by date, time and location. But, like any digital information, this metadata can fall into the hands of intruders.
Myasoedov noted that when a photo is uploaded to a social network, sent by e-mail or via a messenger, personal data inevitably becomes known to third parties. In some cases, this does not happen, because online services automatically compress and cleanse images of unnecessary information to facilitate the transfer of heavy graphic objects. But Myasoedov clarified that then the fact of sending it carries a certain risk.
Even if the communication channel is encrypted, a leak can still occur. The time and place of the photo are likely to be seen by an experienced cybercriminal.
There are cases when robbers found out the location of a person who does not use social networks at all, using the metadata of product images on an online ad platform.
To protect against tracking by photo, the expert advises to manually clear the “properties” section of the image on your computer or download a special program that will do this automatically. It is available for stationary and mobile devices.
When actively using photo applications in smartphones, it is necessary to turn off the display of geolocation. It is useful to use VPN programs while sending graphic objects in public places