If you love sharing your best photos online, officials say you may also be sharing personal information that could put you and your family at risk.
Photos can contain hidden data, including when or where a photo was taken, and the exact GPS coordinates.
"So, when you take a photo with a digital camera or a phone, details about things like when, where, and how the images are created are captured and stored automatically in the file in what's called EXIF data, which is short for Exchangeable Image File Format. And that information travels with the photo wherever you send it, whether you're posting it online or sharing it with a friend in a text," Thomas Germain, Consumer Reports Tech Editor, said.
Here are four different ways to remove the data from photos:
Windows computer: Right click on the file, select properties and then check under the details tab to see if it has data. Also, use this menu to remove it by clicking the "remove properties and personal information" tab.
MAC computer: Open a photo in preview and then select show inspector under the tools menu. If a photo has EXIF data, you'll see a tab for it. There's also a remove location info button that will delete location information.
GRX: Most smart phones don't have a built in tool that removes EXIF data, but there are free apps that will do it for you.
iPhone: Go to settings, open the privacy tab, select location services and tap the camera and then the never tab.
Androids: Go to settings, lock screen and security, open the location tab, app level permissions tab and then switch the tab off for camera.
How to minimize risk when sharing photos online