Every image contains EXIF data. If you don’t remove EXIF data from images before sharing them in the public sphere, it leads to severe security issues.
What is EXIF Data?
EXIF is Exchangeable Image File data which is created when an image is clicked with a digital camera or a smartphone.
The data contains details like shutter speed, type of camera, author name, camera settings, GPS location, photo date and other numerous details depending on the feature of the camera or smartphone instrument.
Why EXIF Data is a Security Issue?
Honestly, most of us don’t clean the EXIF data before sharing the images online. As such, anyone can find out its details automatically.
For instance, if the image contains GPS data, a person can use the detail to locate your home address or contact number.
Almost every one of us uses Facebook. Images uploaded on Facebook aren’t stripped off metadata. Anyone can download public images, find EXIF data and locate you.
Now, do you see how it’s a security issue?
Of course, one basic way to ensure safety is to turn-off GPS access in the device. Most devices are GPS-enabled by default. You have to check its settings and turn it off.
In this article, we will learn how to remove EXIF data from images.
Steps to Remove EXIF Data from Images
Here you go:
1) Remove EXIF Data from Images in Windows
Most of us use Windows OS. Next time you upload images from Windows, take these precautionary steps:
- Right-click on the image and select ‘Properties’.
- Go to ‘Details’ tab.
- Locate ‘Remove Properties & Personal Information’. A new window will open.
- Choose the second radio button and ‘Select All’.
- Click ‘OK’.
If there are a large number of images, select all of them and follow the above process. Now you can upload the image anywhere you want. This is by far the best way to remove EXIF data from images.
On the hindsight, if the image settings are GPS-enabled, Windows might fail to remove the EXIF data entirely. As such, you need to use third-party tools.
Treat them as alternate third-party tools.
It is a simple tool that allows you to see EXIF data of existing images and remove them, if necessary. They don’t store any of the images. Once the image is stripped off EXIF data, the new image is automatically downloaded on the system. This tool doesn’t have bulk image EXIF data removal system yet.
3) Batch Purifier LITE
It is a freeware with which you can strip off EXIF data from JPEG images. First download and install the software on the system and upload the images.
The tool will remove image metadata such as geotag, ICC profile, comments, camera details, thumbnails and others, without compromising on picture quality.
These two third-party tools will take care of EXIF data removal needs. If you’re using image software like Photoshop, the “metadata” settings should be set to “none”. Check the image file settings to make this change.
In short, be careful with what images are uploaded online. Always remove EXIF data from images before sharing them in the public sphere.
You would also like to to read how to hide files behind JPEG images.