Technology: Gotta Love it, but OMG the Dangers

We have become a ‘picture taking and quickly posting’ people. Log in to Facebook or Twitter and you’ll see thousands of photos with a little icon below indicating the picture was taken/and posted via mobile.  Instant sharing. 

Nothing wrong with that, right?

Well, as Christina Parker of Los Angeles learned, yes, there’s plenty wrong with instant sharing — or it can be. Shortly after posting pics on Twitter (via mobile), Ms. Parker received a message from the website Icanstalku.com telling her they knew where she lives.

Sounds like something out of a horror movie, right? I know where you are … and I’m coming to get you.

What happened was, Ms. Parker’s photos contained information called “geotags” embedded by her smart phone. With every picture she posted online, she was inadvertently giving out her exact location.

Well, call me “behind the times,” but I had no idea. I’m guessing many people would rather not broadcast their exact geographic location when posting a cute picture.

Say, you’re taking a shot of your kids, or pets, or rare diamond necklace to share it with friends. Post it online from your phone, and you’ve given a potential molester/thief/burglar the exact address. Now, all they have to do is pay you a visit.

So, should we stop sharing pictures, or only transfer them via computer? No.

As this article describes, all we have to do is disable the GPS feature on our phone, and we’re safe.

Technology … just gotta love it!

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Image credit: dailyrecord.co.uk, teenagers film.

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19 responses to “Technology: Gotta Love it, but OMG the Dangers

  1. Hi Sylvia, I saw something about this on TV the other night.. and you are right, disable the GPS on the phone. Made me think of all other photos that get posted – of cats, gardens, a gathering etc etc …
    Will FB this …

  2. I know I heard about this too and the disabling device. They also warn people about announcing traveling plans on the internet. Guess, I just don’t even think about all the dangers lurking around me and I am glad others warn me, I do listen to the precautions. It is always nice to live and not get obsessed but that doesn’t mean to be stupid and ignorant, once again, balance, all about balance. This post is a perfect reminder to just be smart about our posting :)

  3. A good warning, Sylvia. Yet that GPS signal can also be of great help to law enforcement, firemen and EMTs in helping to locate a person. So it’s a double edge sword! The best thing is probably not to share personal information on sites you know are not private, which is just about everywhere!

  4. I really like what Lucy said. I try to keep a balance. Don’t live in fear – don’t be blatantly stupid. Works so far ;-)
    Tina @ Life is Good

  5. I suppose someone thought people would love this feature. You know how it is, you go on vacation and can’t remember if that castle (or whatever) was in this city or that one. However, smart criminals learn quickly how to take advantage of it. I guess we always need to be a little careful. My currenct technology issue is viruses! Got one on two laptops. sigh.

    • Yes, I’m sure the original intention of imbedding such geotags was good. We just have to stay on top of tech news, and share what we know when possible. Many parents I spoke with knew this already, but many did not, and were thankful to hear it. Good to spread the news.

    • If it’s Window ask for help in Mircosoft forum, there are some extremely clever, generous people on that forum that will walk you through what to do to help, I’ve just had the same problems, it was a complete nightmare, their advice was fantastic. Good luck.:)

  6. Frightening. On the other hand, the dermatology surgeon who removed melanoma from «Louis’» ear this week used the photo app on her Stanford-issued iPhone to map the area, record the procedure and load the images directly into «Louis’» chart.

  7. I refused to get a ‘smart phone’, and my grown up kids ridiculed me for my simple cell phone. They have recently become very silent. Hah!

  8. I was so grateful that my phone had that option turned off. Why it has it in the first place I will NEVER know, but that can be scary information in the hands of the wrong person.

    • Stacey, make sure to turn it back on, in case you have an emergency and need to make a call. The EMTs can find you if the GPS tracker is on. Off for picture posting, but okay otherwise, just IMO.

  9. I too must be “behind the times” as I did not know this…. thanks for the info, I’m sure to keep this in mind!

  10. I’m pretty new to blogging so hadn’t got to the ‘posting anything instantly’ not even a pictures, now I think I’ll give it a miss completely, thanks for the warning … I knew some phones etc gave out your location and I can see how easy this is open to abuse … on the other hand … hoping that I can set a destination to all the snaps on our ipad … long since forgotten. Like most things there’s pros and cons of new tech, but maybe it’s the user not the tech that’s the problem.

I welcome your thoughts.

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