Social Media Peeping: How To Keep Social Media Info Private - WSPA.com

Social Media Peeping: How To Keep Social Media Info Private

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A picture is worth a thousand words, but when you post pictures online it can also give anyone information about you that you'd rather keep private A picture is worth a thousand words, but when you post pictures online it can also give anyone information about you that you'd rather keep private
ANDERSON, S.C. -

A picture is worth a thousand words, but when you post pictures online it can also give anyone information about you that you'd rather keep private. A single photo can give a stranger access to your life and your location.

Things like where you live, where your kids go to school and when you're on vacation can be readily available. 7 On Your Side was able to find where one woman works, her dog's name even where her grandparents live then we approached her as if we knew her.

"Wow, I'm surprised you can find out so much about about someone," says Katie after we told her we tracked her down using her photos on Instagram.

Katie is leaving a digital trail simply by posting photos. She had no clue and she's not alone. Countless others are doing it too.

Every time you take a photo with your smart phone your exact location is attached to that photo. When the photo is uploaded to Instagram it starts creating a digital map showing where you've been and the things you've done. The process is called "geo-tagging."

Clemson uses the exact same technology in their Social Media Listening Center to determine where people are talking about Clemson.

"People are able to follow us see where we're eating, see the restaurants we frequent, places we go people we connect with and in the process you're sharing part of your private life that you don't necessarily think you're sharing," says Social Media Listening Center Director Joe Mazer.

The information the center gathers all comes from public profiles. That means anyone and everyone can peep into your life. You may not realize the amounty of personal inforamtion you're giving them with a single picture. If information falls into the wrong hands, it can open the door to social media's dark side.

"Cyber stalking, cyber harrassment, cyber bullying," Mazer says.

Photos can let people know where you are and where you aren't. If you post pictures of what you made for dinners those posts can help someone find your house. Then if you start posting from a tropical island you're letting people know you're home is unprotected.

"In a matter of a few seconds we're able to track her footsteps," Mazer says

The best way to protect yourself is to make your profile private. You can also turn the location settings off on your phone. However, turning the location settings will not erase photos off the map you've already created.

Follow these steps to turn off location settings:

For Android Phones:

  1. Open the Camera App
  2. Open the Settings Tab
  3. Un-Check ''Geo-Tag" option

For iPhones:

  1. Open the Settings App
  2. Open Privacy Section
  3. Open Location Services
  4. Toggle the Switch from ON to Off on Instagram and Camera

For BlackBerry:

  1. Open Camera App
  2. Set Location icon to "Disabled"

For Windows Phone:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Find Applications
  3. Scroll Down to Pictures and Camera
  4. Change "include location (GPS) info in Pictures you take" to "Off"

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