Only On 6: Photo Find Me - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Only On 6: Photo Find Me

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Our online activity could possibly put us and our loved ones in danger.

Many people take pictures with their smart phones and then share them to their favorite social networking sites, but what we don't know is that a lot of the pictures on our phones can lead dangerous people right to ourselves and our family.

This cell phone feature is called geotracking.

"Geotracking is basically pictures whether it's a digital camera or a cell phone where you tag yourself at various locations and it gives longitude and lattitude showing different places that you've been, also showing criminals where you're not," said Detective for the Wichita Falls Police Department, Jason Jones.

Meta Data shows when a set of data was collected. This data is located in your camera's phone and gets technical information on every picture you take as well as share. However, most people don't know this exists.

"No one knows that it's in there but its there. It's definitely a concern of mine because I do have a 3 year old girl and I do post pictures often because I'm a proud mother. If I'm concerned about it I'm sure there's plenty of parents out there just wondering and wanting to know more about this," said Cell Phone Consultant, Autumn Fernandez.

This Geotracking feature has either been enabled on accident with the owner knowing, or it probably wasn't exposed to the owner as an option.

It's as if a GPS is located on your camera, on every photo you take. The second after you snap and then post your picture a complete stranger is able to find your exact location. It's even very easy for a complete stranger to find your exact location.  

"It doesn't take rocket science to figure this out," said Fernandez.

"It's very easy. That's what I mainly do, I am online on facebook and I search people out whether they're victims or suspects or just people in general and I find their first names, last names, date of births and sometimes credit card information and phone numbers," said Jones.

Once your location is found, strangers could possibly find out other personal information.

"I don't like it. It's an invasion of your privacy. There's a lot of people out there who are just looking to try to get into someone's bank account or something of that nature and if they find anything they can do that with they will," said Wichita Falls resident, Allen Ramsey.

"With phones don't download any unnecessary apps for a lot of those have malware and and spy which will actually send the information back from your phone showing where you're at  from your gps signal," said Jones.

"It's more of a safety thing to me than anything else. If I wanted someone to have something I'll send it to them personally," said Ramsey.

The good thing is, there are steps to take to disable geotracking on your smart phone to protect your location information.

Go to your smart phone's settings, location services and then switch the camera settings from on to off.  

Taylor Barnes Newschannel 6
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