When you upload a file online, you might upload more than what you’re willing to share with the world. This is valid for all types of file, being it a photo, a video or audio file, PDF etc.
The two most common file types shared online today are photos and videos. And both file types have one thing in common that can give away a lot more information than you might think. That’s metadata.
Besides what’s visible in the photo itself, metadata can reveal when and where the photo was taken, the device that was used to take the photo and other unique characteristics that can fingerprint you across the web. By not removing metadata, a hacker or OSINT researcher can easily find out where you live, where you work, your preferences and habits etc, just by extracting the Exif data hidden inside the photos you post online.
We previously covered why and how to remove metadata from a file before uploading it online, using an amazing tool called ExifTool.
If you find ExifTool too complicated to use or if it’s an overkill for your needs, here’s another free, open source and cross-platform GUI tool that’s built on top of ExifTool library: ExifCleaner.
ExifCleaner works with all file formats supported by ExifTool and allows you to process tens, hundreds, or even thousands of files at once by dragging and dropping those files onto the app window.
Also, the program automatically detects your operating system’s dark mode setting to reduce eye strain. It will change back to day mode when your computer does.
You can get ExifCleaner on Linux, macOS and Windows or build it from the source code. Linux users can download ExifCleaner as an .AppImage or .deb file.