Quick Summary: Google is still the first, best step, when searching social media.
The time-honored trick of putting “john smith site:facebook.com” into Google can, in some cases, work better than Facebook’s own internal search, especially if you can add a location to the search string as well.
Somebody with malicious intent may use this to their advantage when trying to correlate your dating profile to other web content.
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.A few years ago, image recognition on a large scale was restricted to law enforcement and corporate security. Free services like Tineye and Google Images will search billions of indexed images on the internet for identical or similar pictures.This isn’t necessarily traditional hash or metadata specific – cropping or resizing an image is not a foolproof way to defeat this (as I show in the screenshot below, where Tineye and Google correctly identified my profile selfie which is substantially cropped on social media).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.If you’ve changed your username, he or she may be able to find the previous version.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.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?Were your photos taken in an apartment building or dorm that can be easily identified in other people’s photos?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.