Your social media post may be putting animals in severe danger

Mar 22 2019, 9:33 pm

Social media truly is a blessing and a curse.

Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are meccas of travel inspiration. Social media exposes us to incredible destinations we never knew existed, and encourages us to see more of the world.

Using the Geotag feature may be great for guiding your wanderlust, but it does present risks as well. Geotagging on a public account will share your location with social media users who may not have good intentions.

While it’s great to post photos of awesome wildlife on your travels, sharing the geotag of an animal can put its life in danger.

“Poachers are now using unsuspecting tourists to hunt their prey,” explains Sherwin Banda of Africa Travel, Inc., to Forbes. “While on safari, tourists post photos of animals to social media sites, not realizing that embedded within the post or the photo is a Geotag containing the GPS location of the photo or the poster.”

 

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Africa is home to some of the planet’s most unique, spectacular, and endangered species. The geotag allows poachers to track animals such as rhinos for their horns and elephants for their ivory, so it’s important to think twice before pinning your exact location.

 

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“Also, be wary of overly interested people,” Banda advises. “If they ask for the animal’s location, answer vaguely.”

 

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African Travel, Inc. has shared how to turn off Geotagging on your phone:

iPhone: Go to settings > Privacy > Location Services. There you can turn off Location Services entirely. Or, if you prefer, you can turn off location services (GPS) for your phone’s camera.

Android: Open the camera app, go to settings, and switch off the GPS tagging option.

Twitter: Geotagging will only be turned on in the app on your phone if you have done so manually in the settings menu under privacy > location services. If posting from a computer click on the gear icon in the right corner and then go to settings to check the privacy settings.

Facebook: Go to the gear icon in the upper right corner to check out your privacy settings. You can set who can view your information, posts, and updates. Visit the Timeline and Tagging section to make certain friends can’t post your location by checking you at some locale or tagging you.

Instagram: Photos are automatically public unless you change your settings. Go to edit profile and change your settings so “Photos are Private” is ON, then only friends can view them. To turn off Geotagging when posting turn off the “Add to Photo Map” option.

Pinterest: Click on your profile picture in the upper right-hand corner and select Settings to see what the public can view; who can search for you; and what, if any, social networks you have associated with your account.

 

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