Posting photos online has become such a commonplace activity for most of us that we do it without thinking of any possible consequences that might result. You might wonder what harm can do from the simple addition of a photograph to your social network or a blog site, but you might surprised by just what nefarious activity your pic may be used for. Read on for some basics everyone should know about posting photos online.
Did you know that there are many online dating sites that create fake profiles to promote their own services and con users? If you aren’t careful with how you manage your photos online, it could be your photos that end up on these sites. In fact, there is a whole underground market where pictures are bought and sold illegally to fund these illicit activities.
Pictures of yourself can reveal more information than you might think at first glance. Snaps taken with phones may contain GPS/informational tags that reveal location information, and pictures taken in front of homes, schools etc. may make it easy for others to know where you live. You don’t have to be paranoid about posting pictures online, just make sure there is nothing obvious in them that might reveal your location to strangers.
Social networking sites give you options that let you control how others see your photos and other personal information. Facebook has the option for ‘friends’, ‘friends of friends’ or ‘everyone’ to see your stuff. Remember that if other people tag you in a photo, the photo will be viewable on Facebook by the friends of the person who tagged you, and the friends of anyone else who is tagged in the photo. You can de-tag yourself from photos in the Facebook activity log, and delete photos from your photo album. While you don’t always have control over who will see your images, de-tagging yourself at least separates your face from your name and your profile. This is in no way a full-proof way of keeping your identity a secret however.
You should always be careful with who you add as a friend on social media sites. Mindlessly accepting all friendship requests is a very bad idea. Review your friendship lists when you can, and delete people that you no longer feel you should be connected with. This will help maintain the integrity of all your info including your pictures.
If you have a picture of yourself that is embarrassing, revealing or in any other way inappropriate, don’t upload it. If you are unsure of whether or not you should post a picture, take the safe route and don’t post it. Don’t let social concerns cloud your judgment. If you are a parent, you should never post pictures online that could be embarrassing to your children in later years – leave the naked bath photos to the photo album.
Blogging platforms like Tumblr are slightly different to social networking sites because they are based around the individual rather than the group. You don’t necessarily have the same privacy concerns, but it is still important to remain careful with the details that you provide to the reader. If you use images of yourself on a blog (and even if you don’t), you should not reveal your personal details publicly, or any important info regarding yourself.
This is a particularly relevant item given the social nature of sharing pictures these days. If you have a friend or relative that posts a picture of you that you don’t want posted, you should never be afraid to ask them to take it down. If they ask you why, tell them exactly why. You never know who could see the pictures that you are tagged in, and this is why it is important to stand up for yourself in situations where you don’t want the picture posted. The same goes for parents.
Posting pictures online should be fun, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a few rules to manage your pictures in a sensible fashion. Are you a sensible girlie when it comes to uploading pics online or do you never give a second thought to how they might be used?
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