One of Vista’s more useful features is also one of its more dangerous ones the use of metadata. Metadata is information about files that you don’t normally see but that can help you search for them.
For example, music files typically contain the name of the composer, type of music and so on. And a photograph usually contains data on when the photo was taken, who took it, the camera model and other information, such as ISO speed. Documents and spreadsheets contain a wide variety of information about their creators, including who created the document, how much time was spent editing it, who reviewed the document and so on.
In many cases, programs automatically generate their own metadata when a file is created. Users can also easily create or edit metadata. Right-click a file, choose Properties, and select the Details tab. Then click any field and type in metadata. Keep in mind that some metadata, such as the last time a file was printed, can’t be altered. More »