Monthly Archives: September 2011

Are You Smartphone Smart? Protect Your Children in a Digital World

Many of my teen clients have smartphones and are very adept at using them.  However, there are some things they don’t pay much attention to.  One of those things is Geotagging.  I learned about Geotagging because I try to keep up with the issues regarding internet and cell phone safety.  Not knowing about Geotagging can endanger not only your teens, but your entire family.

Geotagging is a feature on any device that has a GPS chip in it.  It is the technology that embeds all the details about where and when a photo is taken.  It includes the coordinates that would allow a predator to locate where your family lives or the places they frequent when a photo is shared.  As I understand it, it is accurate to within 15 feet of the location where the photo is taken.  With a few smarts regarding GPS technology, a predator can extract the embedded information fairly easily.

Not all smartphones have the Geotagging feature turned on, but you should check to make certain.  If it is on, you need to manually turn off the Geotagging feature.  On some phones, the phone will ask if you want to Geotag photos and because “tagging” photos on Facebook and Flickr is fun, kids often click on yes without understanding what they are agreeing to.

When you do disable Geotagging on your smartphone, be sure that you take care to target just the photos so you won’t also disable your direction finders and the feature that allows law enforcement to locate your child in case of emergency.

I hope you find this tip to keeping your children safe in the digital world to be helpful.   A moment of caution can prevent a lifetime of heartache.