A-Z Glossary of Information Security and Social Engineering Terms

Metadata

Metadata

Metadata is data about data, such as the size of a file or the last time it was updated. For example, unbeknownst to many computer users, a simple Microsoft Word document can contain data on the author’s name, as well as a record of changes made to the document and any omissions. The same applies to photo images, as the exposure time, camera used and sometimes even the GPS co-ordinates are embedded into a photo’s metadata. Even a cropped image can still retain metadata that contains a copy (thumbnail view) of the original photo. Data protection training can teach end-users techniques for removing metadata from files to prevent third-parties becoming privy to confidential information.

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