The day the second batch of personal photos belonging to international celebrities emerged online has forever changed our ideas about privacy on the Internet. Our photos are often part of our private lives where no outsiders are allowed. Seeing those photos in the public domain for everyone to see is all the more unpleasant, especially when somebody uses them for their own aims.
What sort of aims might they be? There a lots. For instance, your selfie with some new jewelry could give someone the idea of visiting your home while you are out and stealing that piece of jewelry, along with any other valuables. If you are wealthy family man, photos of your children and other loved ones may result in blackmail. And you shouldn’t forget about your average online troll who will try to ruin your life just for fun, placing your photo on websites with a less-than-ideal reputation. To avoid these or other unpleasant situations involving your photos, it’s worth taking a number of steps. You should start with the simplest.
The first rule is to disable the automatic photo upload features on your smartphone. iCloud photo stream and the Camera Uploads folder in Dropbox are the two services that typically take all your photos, including those with most intimate content, beyond your smartphone. If there are photos on your phone that you’d like to keep away from prying eyes, disable the automatic photo upload feature. Save only those photos to the cloud that you need to, and do it manually so you can control the process.
The second rule is that you should always use security software to protect your computers and devices from unauthorized access. Otherwise, you can never be sure if there is a bug on your operating system that secretly sends your photos to the last person you would ever want to know what you had for breakfast and who you spent last night with. So, don’t neglect security software and think you are reliably protected as you are. An anti-malware solution is the main defense against unwanted elements ending up on your system.
Social network sites are one of the mediums for showing your photos to the entire world. This is where rule number three comes in. Before you publish your photo, think twice about who may see it, what message you’d like to convey with it, and what people you don’t know may think of it when they see it. So, refrain from sending personal information in your photos, do not upload photos where documents, credit cards, airplane tickets or tour package details are visible. When you publish a photo, make sure you specify who is allowed to see it.
Rule number four applies to sending photos my email. Your email can also be compromised if someone is deliberately targeting you. You shouldn’t underestimate your own importance and forget about security measures. So, when you send your personal photos to someone, it’s worth using dedicated photo encryption services such as SFLetter.com. SFLetter.com is a mail server with a protected browser login. It converts photos into a proprietary format, which will require the recipient to install a special viewer to see them. This service prohibits the copying or sending of photos to a third-party address, meaning the recipient can only view the images. There are other similar services, so look into them and choose the service you like best.
The fifth rule resonates with the third. However, it is much simpler: don’t take photos of anything and everything with your smartphone. Always think of what you are taking pictures of, where and how. That way, you will attract less attention to yourself and improve your skills as a mobile photographer.