In this world of social networks, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., where we upload our personal photos or “selfies”, we may meet with steal of identity. Photos, like mentioned “selfies”, are very easy to download and to abuse. Someone may create fake profile with your photo and claim that it’s you. It may cause a lot of problems in relationships, friendships, business or even it may cause to legal act. Or photo of your girlfriend in bikini on beach may be posted to sites for adults. How to protect myself? Is here any way how to search potentially abused pictures on Internet?
Hopefully yes. As we use Google for finding images by typing keywords, we can find images by inserting image instead of using keywords. Prepare your photos from social networks and then launch google.com in your browser. Switch to image finding and look at text field. Here is interesting icon:
After clicking on camera icon, just upload your photo or type direct URL of any picture on Internet. You should get results. Maybe you will be surprised.
How to protect?
Essentially, there is no real 100% protection. Metadata, even “artist” and “copyright” can be removed, some Internet services do it already without prompt when uploading photo, so this is not way. Probably the best way to protect your privacy is to use watermarks on your photos. Or add text on your photos, you can use built-in MS Paint in your Windows operating system if you dont’t have any special software. I don’t recommend online services for watermarking – yea, you can watermark your photos, but identity thief can do it too and if he is faster, he can claim that he is real person and you may get into troubles. Problem is that these watermarks are not very customizable and some of them contain webpage of watermarking service, so thief can quickly find watermarking service webpage and abuse your other photos. So do not use “template watermarking”, create your own, unique watermarks. Or edit watermaked photos by bluring service website (read Terms of Service if it does not violate service’s rules!) and add your unique signs, even in MS Paint you can do it.