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How To Post A Photo To The Forum

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I adjusted the settings on photobucket, lets see if it works...

Looks like disabling the link back in the settings is all it took. Once again, the intertubes has proven me lazy. I should have just read the FAQ. Thanks guys.

MountainStatePrepper, I will use that technique for grabbing images from other sites for repost, thats another handy tip, thanks.

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to throw this out there: A Note on Image Security

Use Photobucket or Google drive as image hosts. I see a lot of people using lesser known services which don't strip EXIF metadata from the image. Photobucket and Google both auto-strip that data.

The main reason you don't want that attached in an online forum is for privacy. If you take an image from your smart phone for instance, it will incorporate the GPS location of the photo (which using google maps, gives an address, leading to a name, a phone number, etc). Some smartphones will list their model in the metadata, and because some phones are specific to a carrier, you know who their carrier is. If the user is a serial photo-spammer, posting constant "selfies" you can pretty much track them in real-time with the GPS data from their photo posting, telling you if they're home or not.

The worst-case scenario, someone could use the data to find your home and track your movements with the goal of stalking or robbing you. Much more likely however, advertisers and marketing companies are datamining the shit out of this. Obviously, the user posting from an old Droid phone may be looking for a new smart-phone, and here's their address, email and phone number...  Truthfully, companies are just beginning to find ways to exploit this, it's not epidemic. It's just becoming feasible on a large scale now. But there are crawlers hitting sites looking specifically for image data and the associated meta-data.

Some cameras encode a "Gallery" name for tagging photos, like "My trip to Alaska" or "Birthday for Bill". Many of these galleries are unsecured, and one who knows the name can determine the URL for the entire gallery, getting all the images in your account, not just those you intended to share.

Some people attempt to redact information by blacking out data in photoshop or a similar program.  However, some EXIF data contains a high-resolution thumbnail of the original image (a mini-copy within the image itself). So you black out your driver's license number in the main image, but the embedded thumbnail still shows it clearly!

Another case with thumbnails, some people post tactfully cropped, suggestive images (online dating sites for example). You can't see nudity in the image because of the cropping, but again, the embedded thumbnail remains intact for anyone to see, if they know how to access it. Not much of a problem here at TSP, I'd imagine, but in general there are a lot of perverts who download tens of thousands of images, looking for these.

On that note, please also use jpeg compression. Cameras capture a lot of light outside of the visible spectrum. I won't go into too much detail about those risks, just trust me, use jpeg, don't post raw data.

If you use your own server or a 3rd party service, you can still manually remove this data.

Removing Metadata Manually in Windows
1) Right click the file and select Properties
2) Select "Remove Properties and Personal Information" on the Details Tab
3) Either create a copy with details removed, or remove only selected information from the original file.
4) Click OK
5) Upload to your file-sharing service.

Mr. Bill:
Thanks, I.L.W., that was a great overview of the image privacy problem.

I usually edit images before posting them online, and (if it seems appropriate) I'll strip out EXIF data in the process.  GIMP does this, and I'd assume Photoshop and other image editors also have this option.

I just ran across this freestanding platform-independent tool:

--- Quote ---ExifTool is a platform-independent Perl library plus a command-line application for reading, writing and editing meta information in a wide variety of files. ExifTool supports many different metadata formats including EXIF, GPS, IPTC, XMP, JFIF, GeoTIFF, ICC Profile, Photoshop IRB, FlashPix, AFCP and ID3, as well as the maker notes of many digital cameras by Canon, Casio, FLIR, FujiFilm, GE, HP, JVC/Victor, Kodak, Leaf, Minolta/Konica-Minolta, Nikon, Nintendo, Olympus/Epson, Panasonic/Leica, Pentax/Asahi, Phase One, Reconyx, Ricoh, Samsung, Sanyo, Sigma/Foveon and Sony.

ExifTool is also available as a stand-alone Windows executable and a Macintosh OS X package...
--- End quote ---

I haven't tried it, but it sounds useful.


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