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There are two sets of clues that can give away important personal information in your photos. Consider: is there a window in your photos, and are there identifiable buildings or landmarks outside of it?

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This is an easy way for someone with malicious intent to draw connections between a dating site profile username and your ‘real’ life, even if your profiles are correctly private or hidden.The second way your photos can betray your privacy is a bit more technical, but still terribly important to recognize.It has to do with hidden information, or ‘metadata’, which is tacked onto most pictures by phones, photo editing software, and digital cameras.If you post data which compromises your privacy or reputation to your profile, remove it and consider starting fresh with an entirely new profile.If needed, pursue sites and search engines to remove what they can and will, and disassociate your online identity as much as possible from the content. The individual facts and conversations you post on dating sites might not give away your identity, but as a collective whole, they may.The number one open source intelligence source that people with evil intent will try to use against you, or to identify you, is your social media profiles.

You make a malicious person’s life significantly more difficult by simply locking down your social media profiles so that nobody except people you know personally can view them, or that the data that is publicly visible is not enough to provide the attacker an advantage.

You can’t see EXIF metadata without using special tools, but it may contain startling amounts of information about where the photo was taken, by whom, and when.

This exists primarily to help out professional photographers and photo storage tools. Let’s look at some of the data hidden inside of it: Create Date : 20 Make : Samsung Orientation : Horizontal (normal) Flash : No Flash Focal Length : 4.3 mm GPS Position : 28 deg 21′ 27.100″ N, 81 deg 33′ 29.71″ W Even with location geotagging disabled in your camera settings, metadata still provides a tremendous amount of detail about you and your devices, and can even uniquely identify photos taken with your camera.

(The use of photo editing tools also becomes blatantly obvious, which can be a cause for some embarrassment.) Ensure you remove identifying metadata from photos before posting them onto your dating profile.

If I were forced to pick only one error which causes dating site members the most personal embarrassment over the long term, it’s forgetting this.

If that professional headshot is still in a cache associated with your dating profile, he or she can use Tineye to match it to your corporate bio that shares the same photograph.