Metadata can contain revealing details like your location and user information ,Safeguard your privacy and remove metadata from the files you share and upload to the internet. This article discusses effective ways to get rid of metadata embedded in MS Office documents, PDFs, and image files.
Each time you attach documents to your email messages and upload then share files on various online services, you may be giving away more information about yourself, your device, and your computing machine. Your files contain hidden content or metadata that may include details like your name and location. Protect your privacy and limit the amount of personal information you leak to the Web by considering the following tips for stripping away metadata.
Microsoft Office Files
Your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files can be cleared of your personal or sensitive information by using a free online tool. Microsoft makes available its Document Inspector at msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/ff862071(v=office.15).aspx for helping Web users strip MS Office files of their metadata.
You can also right-click on the specific file icon on your computer screen, select Properties from the ensuing menu selection, go to the Details tab, and then click where it says “Remove Properties and Personal Information.”
To remove metadata from PDFs, take advantage of the following helpful guides offered by Adobe. The webpage help.adobe.com/en_US/acrobat/X/pro/using/WS4E397D8A-B438-4b93-BB5F-E3161811C9C0.w.html explains how you can do away with metadata in Acrobat X Pro, while help.adobe.com/en_US/acrobat/X/standard/using/WS4E397D8A-B438-4b93-BB5F-E3161811C9C0.w.html describes how to do it in Acrobat X Standard. There’s also a handy tool called Examine Document, which can get rid of PDF metadata in Acrobat 9.
Taking snapshots through a mobile device and quickly sharing those photos in social networking sites can often reveal more information about yourself than you intended. Most popular image-sharing services and social media sites automatically conceal the metadata in the images uploaded by their users. However, you might not want to disclose potentially sensitive metadata to those service providers because they can be easily mined for valuable consumer data and then sold to advertisers and other third parties.
Disable location tagging for your camera in iOS by going to Settings and clicking Privacy. Under Location services, you can switch Camera to off. In Android, excise GPS data from your images using a tool called Image Privacy, a free mobile app that can be downloaded from the Google Play store. When you install the Image Privacy app, an option that says “Strip metadata” will be added to your Share menu selection. Another free helpful and time-saving tool is Metability QuickFix, which enables you to strip GPS information simultaneously from multiple images.
An excellent and free online tool that can remove metadata from Windows graphic files is Steel Bytes’ JPEG & PNG Stripper. If you have Mac OS, then use the free online tool called ImageOptim to eliminate EXIF data from your image files before sharing and uploading them to the Web.