How to Share Your Pictures Online with Friends Only

Jun 04, 2014

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The Internet is highly uncontrollable. That picture you wanted to share with only your closest friends? It’s now posted publicly from a friend’s shared screen grab. With photos and information, it’s very difficult to guarantee the privacy of what you share.  Facebook boasts having over 350 million photos in its database.

The following are three tips to minimize the risks of posting pictures online. 

  • Tagging: You can be linked to photos you didn’t take. So it’s safe to say there are some shots you may not want to be tagged in. The good news is that you can monitor who is tagging your posts and you can take tags off of yourself from others’ posts. Do this by reviewing your privacy settings and modifying the defaults.
  • Public vs. Private: a single picture can go viral in a matter of minutes. Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie received so many retweets and favorites that it shut down Twitter in minutes. Your pictures may not be getting this kind of attention, but they can still travel quickly to people that you may not know. You can limit your viewers through various settings. On Facebook, look at the drop-down menu next to the Post button and select Custom. On Instagram, Settings gives you the option for your posts to be 1) public, allowing anyone to see your photos, or 2) private, allowing only those you’ve approved as followers to view your photos.
  • Geotag: Digital pictures contain a lot of details, including your location. The file created by a camera or phone includes Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) “metadata” that shows information such as exposure setting or the exact location of your photo. This fact could allow predators to track you down or alert thieves to the vacancy of your home. Facebook states it removes EXIF data from posted pictures, but Flickr and Picasa still include it.

Being acutely aware of these dangers can be very helpful in ensuring your Internet safety and privacy. Net Nanny Social is a useful tool that assists parents in monitoring the pictures that teens share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+.