Your life online giving away your location and more
In a world of "instant" there is pressure to post what you're doing for all your friends to see. But what if it is not just your circle of contacts looking in on your activities? There are now websites and apps that take advantage of the information you may not even know is in your posted pictures to let anyone and everyone know exactly where you are and what you are doing.
"People don't realize a person could know you that's never met you," said Dr. Howard Kurtz, a sociology professor with Southwestern Oklahoma State University, "They could collect enough information to make you think they know you."
We put this to the test by using a variety of websites and apps that allowed us to use our location to see who was posting on Instagram around our location. Time after time we found a plethora of pictures to choose from and were able to find people enjoying outdoor activities just like they posted.
In one case we found a web designer meeting with friends who share his love of RC cars. He was shocked when Fox 25's Phil Cross was able to accurately predict he had two small dogs. After revealing more about him, Phil told pointed out the camera and told him about the story and how all that information was gleaned from his public profiles.
In another case a group of college students posted pictures of "slacklining" on the South Oval. They too were shocked when we showed them how easy it was to use their picture to zoom into their exact location.
There is a cost and the cost is your privacy," Dr. Kurtz said about sharing your life publicly, "The cost can be even more substantial than your privacy the cost could be your life."
Dr. Kurtz says there is the potential for problems with fully public posts. He recommends taking the "instant" out of Instagram and waiting a day before posting the pictures. He says that will help people think about if they should really share an embarrassing picture and would also keep people from knowing exactly where you are located during your leisure activities.