Monday, June 27, 2011

Sharing Photos Safely on the Internet

Today more and more of us are sharing our photo’s with others online. This can be done today using our digital cameras and cell phones as soon as the events happen.. No doubt, these options are another wonderful way of using technology but it’s important to be sure you are sharing your photos safely..

Almost all cell phones today have cameras, and because most of us carry our cell phones with us all the time - and the quality of the cell phones cameras have and continue to improve almost daily - they are becoming a popular way to post photos as soon as we take the picture...We may post them to our online photo-sharing accounts (such as Picasa Web Albums, Walgreens, Snapfish, PhotoBucket etc accounts, our blogs, mobile blogs (called moblogs); personal Web sites; or share them via our e-mails and IM - no doubt sharing our photos and videos has never been easier.

But it’s important to carefully manage who sees your digital images, from photos to videos, is critical to avoiding the potential exposure of private or personal information to people outside your trusted friends and family. The same pictures and videos you want to share with friends and family may contain information that also has value to criminals.

Only use reputable sites (such as Picasa Web Albums, Walgreens, Shutterfly, Snapfish and others we’ve discussed in class) and only share photos that contain identifiable information with people you trust.

To make photos with identifiable information safer to share publicly:

  • Use a photo editing tool such as Picasa that we work with in our classes, or Windows Photo Gallery to cover up or crop out information that could put you or the people in your photos in harms way, such as house or apt. numbers, street names, name of your school or business, etc – Photo Editing sites allow you to blur small sections of your photos, so you can then put them online safely.

  • Remove metadata from the photo. Some sites allow viewers to see the settings used to take the photo, the time and date when the photo was taken, and even show the geographical coordinates of the place where the photo was taken if the camera or camera phone documents this information. The last thing you want "just anyone" being able to see is the actual address of your home, school or day care center when you took pictures of your kids or grandkids...

  • Change/reduce the resolution of the photo – because lower resolution makes it less likely that others will copy the photo.

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