From posting enviable pictures on Instagram and facebook, to tagging yourself in exotic locations, there’s no doubt social media has become a significant travel travel companion.
With the ability to get you up close to wild animals in their natural habitat, safaris are one of the most popular travel experiences to share on social media, but most of us are unaware of how poachers are using this information to track and hunt their prey.
When you post on social media, a geotag containing your GPS location is embedded in the photo and post you put up, and poachers will trawl through social media sites for safari pictures, and use the GPS location of the animal embedded in posts to hunt for and kill animals such as endangered rhinos and elephants.
African travel operator, African Travel, and TreadRight Foundation, a non-profit foundation formed by The Travel Corporation, have put together a helpful guide on how to keep your posts private and remove any geotags.
iPhone Go to Settings – Privacy – Location Services. Here, you can turn off your Location Services entirely, or you can choose to turn off location services (GPS) for just 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 laptop or computer, click on the gear icon in the right corner and then go to settings to check 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 sure friends can’t post your location by checking you in 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, ensuring 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.
Also, be wary of overly interested people – if they ask for details of the animal’s location, do not let them know, or just answer vaguely.
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