You could be doing something every day that raises your risk of becoming a crime victim: Posting a photo online. It may seem harmless, but there’s been a spike in criminals using intel from posted photos to do everything from steal identities to rob homes.

For example, a mother in Florida discovered that a photo she posted of her 5-year-old on Facebook was used to create a new profile, unbeknownst to her. How about this one: After a soldier's MySpace profile was compromised, a scam artist used a stolen photo to create a fake account; he then used the dating site to con women out of thousands of dollars. And one blogger found her family's photo being used as an advertisement in the Czech Republic! Don’t want that to happen to you? Here’s what to do:

First: Disable your camera’s GPS tracker. A growing number of smartphones, and cameras automatically add GPS tags which lets anyone who sees your posted photo pinpoint your exact coordinates. So, before you “point and click,” turn off the GPS feature.

Then, post your pictures like reality star Kim Kardashian.  In other words, use a watermark which stamps photos with your name. That way a scammer can’t use your photo for another purpose. Google “digital watermarking” to find out how.

Finally, control who sees your pictures. With facial recognition technology on the rise, experts say it's possible that photos posted now may be searchable in the very near future. So make sure only the people you want to see your pictures, see them. Try a site like Protected Pix – with an “x”. It’s a secure site that only your invited friends can log onto