Update: Instagram is phasing out the maps feature of their service. I totally agree with this. So this blog is a little outdated, but still has some great advice in it.
Instagram is SECRETLY tracking you. Find out how to make sure Instagram is not sharing vital locations like your home.
Social media is a big part of our everyday life. As dads we want to share our awesome brand of dad jokes, pictures of our family and of course, fantasy football smack talk. But you need to be careful about what you share. I've written about the dangers of posting location tagged photos before. (Read here) It’s not good to post your frequent locations as someone can form a good idea of where you might or might not be on any given day.
The best way for you to have your privacy stripped from you is the geotagging feature on your phone's camera app. Geotagging notes your location when you take a photo and keeps that information stored in your photo’s metadata. Then apps can use that information for a variety of reasons. I have chosen to turn that feature off on my phone and I thought that made me safe. I was wrong.
Removing geotagging instructions for iOS.
Settings > Privacy > Camera > Locations Services > Camera. Then choose “never”.
Facebook and Twitter allow you to choose if you want to post your location. Instagram does to a certain extent. You can choose not to tag your location in your post, but I bet you didn’t know that Instagram is still sharing your location publicly when you post.
Open Instagram on your phone. My instructions will be for iOS. Now go to your photos by tapping on the profile icon in the lower right of the screen. Displayed here are all of the awesome photos of you playing with your kids and working out. Now tap the place marker logo and you’ll be taken to a map of everywhere you’ve posted a picture. All the places your frequent on a regular basis are displayed to the whole world.
By now you are noticing that your biggest cluster of photos is coming from your house. Yep, YOUR HOUSE. “But wait,” you think, “I have never tagged a photo with my home address before. That would mean people would know where to find me - and my family!” You are right friend. Even if you have chosen to remove geotagging from your camera’s app and not share your location on individual posts, your location is still being marked on the map when you post on Instagram.
Don’t worry, we can fix it. It’s not a straightforward process at all and it gets ambitious at times, but we’ll make it work. Here is a step-by-step way to make sure your locations are kept private.
Guide to Clear Your Geotagged Locations in Instagram
Step 1: Go back to the map of your posts and zoom in on the area of photos you want to remove.
Step 2: Then tap the edit button in the upper right. Your photos will now have a green circle with them.
Step 3: Tap on a cluster of photos you want to remove the geotagging from. (Note that will include pictures you intentionally tagged with your location.) A pop up will appear, tap Edit.
Step 4: Note at this point you are editing your geotagging preferences even though there is no real explanation. Cute, right? Now you see a pop up window with the selected photos with all the photos checked and two options: Deselect All and Select All.
Step 5: Tap on the photos you want geotagging from and tap Deselect All. That may feel odd, but you are deselecting the geotagging option from the photos.
Then tap the done button at the top and your geotagging information is removed from your selected photos.
I love Instagram, but I was not happy when I discovered that my location was being shared without my consent. Oh and make sure to check your map frequently because as of this posting I do not know if there is a way to prevent this from happening again!
Make sure you follow The Secure Dad on Instagram: @thesecuredad.