Remove metadata from pictures

Anyone who uploads a lot of picture to social networks should first remove metadata – the coding that tells when and where a picture was made and with which camera – from the image.

Hackers might use this information for attacks, warns Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology in a new study on social networks. It’s easy to remove metadata with picture editing programmes such as the freeware Irfanview.

Metadata and other private information can be used by criminals in so-called social-engineering attacks, designed to learn more about a person, perhaps helping the hacker to guess a password.

Many such attacks are launched automatically on social networks, warn experts. That’s why users should be suspicious of messages and friend requests from strangers. That’s how some attackers access information that’s restricted to registered friends. (dpa)