There are so many different documents that save your personal information inside them in form of meta data or hidden data when you create or edit these documents. The JPEG pictures that you snap with your digital camera are fine example of this. Whenever you take a picture using your camera, it might save meta data inside the file like the geo-location tag (latitude and longitude), the time of taking picture, the model of camera, whether you used flash etc. Similarly, when you create or edit a Microsoft document, it saves your name as the creator or editor of that document.
While all this information is very useful when used by the trustworthy people inside your organization, you may not want to distribute documents containing your personal information hidden inside them. Fortunately, you can easily find whether the documents in your PC have any hidden data inside them using a freeware called Hidden Data Detector.
This software can find the meta data or the hidden data embedded inside a number of file types – Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), OpenOffice/LibreOffice documents, JPEG, JPEG2000, PNG and SVG image files, AVI and MP4 video files, and WAV and MP3 audio files.
Using Hidden Data Detector is very easy. You have to pick a folder that you want to scan for the files containing hidden data. The folder you select is recursively scanned, so if you pick C:\ folder then it will scan all the files on the C: partition. You can choose the various file types to scan from the list. If you choose fewer file types, then the scan will be faster. After this click on the Find Hidden Data button and it will show you all the files containing hidden data and the type of data hidden inside them.
While Hidden Data Detector can find and show you the files that contain hidden data or meta data, it will not remove this data. For removing this data, you will have to employ other third party tools or manually edit those documents.
You can download Hidden Data Detector from http://www.digitalconfidence.com/Hidden-Data-Detector.html.