EDITOR’S NOTE 01 FEBRUARY 2012 – due to an alert reader warning us, we have now deactivated the link to the recommended app in this post. It seems it may now contain malware, harmful to your PC. If you still want to try the app, exercise extreme caution and scan the app thoroughly with an anti-virus program before installing it on your computer.
If you are a blogger or post pictures on the internet (who doesn’t nowadays?), did you know that you might be at risk? You might be sharing information with people that you don’t want to.
When you take a picture with a digital camera, your camera embeds information into your image which contains a thumbnail, as well as the type of camera you used to take the picture and some other interesting tidbits.
You might be thinking – SO WHAT? If I am posting my picture online what the frick do I care if the thumbnail of my image is embedded. Sure if you have nothing to hide than you should not be worried.
But if you are snapping pictures with a stolen camera or you are editing your images to hide something contained in them – then you should be aware of MetaData, and know how to remove that metadata from photos. That’s right the thumbnail is NOT updated as you edit the image, it is the original thumbnail. So if you are photoshopping yourself – make sure the original picture didn’t show you in a compromising situation!
We have seen instances in the past few years of people getting nailed because their fancy smancy camera embedded their GPS location into their MetaData. Even a not so techie person can view the MetaData and use it against you! There are plenty of sites for that, CameraSummary is one of such image data extractor websites.
Let’s teach our paranoid friends how to remove their MetaData from pictures and ease their minds.
We can start by downloading a small application called JPEG & PNG Stripper. It is a 75KB file that does exactly what it promises. There are not many options and you really cannot go wrong. It is a simple drag and drop operation that will clear up your skeletons in the closet.
No matter what you are trying to hide or protect, this awesome free application will scrub your images down lickity split. It also has command line options and you can do entire folders in one shot. You are actually saving a small amount of space as well because that MetaData does have to live somewhere!
Let’s take a look at how it works. You simply fire up the application called Stripper.exe. It does not need to be installed, just run it and drag a file to the window to be cleaned.
That’s it. It is as simple as that! We confirmed that the MetaData (or lack thereof) has been totally scrubbed – never to be seen again.
From the Author’s Website:
The image quality IS NOT AFFECTED. Includes command line support. Just specify a folder or file on the commandline (wildcards allowed)
And here are the options for my fellow command line geeks:
anything else on the command line is treated as a folder or filename (allows wildcards)
stripper /gui=0 c:\path\test.jpg
stripper /gui=0 c:\path\test.* /ignore-readonly=1
Do you remove your MetaData from photos? Do you use MetaData for some other sort of snooping? Put us on in the comments!