5 Things you can do to protect your social media privacy

Being present on social media means exposing yourself to location tracking from Facebook’s facial recognition to police threat assessments based on your social profiles. The lack of social media privacy is becoming too large of an issue to just ignore, especially when it involves children. In fact, 17 percent of parents ignore social media privacy settings, but still post photos of their children online.

With every photo we post on social media, we are leaving a digital footprint – and not just our own. We leave footprints of everyone we capture in our photos, including our friends, family and children.

“Many parents also mistakenly believe that they own the rights to their photos,” according to an article by Naked Security. The terms and conditions of many social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, “state that the companies have the right to use uploaded images to promote their services without explicitly asking the permission of the person that uploaded the photo.”

This sounds like cause for distress, but don’t worry. There are some ways you can protect your social media privacy and gain back control of your online presence.

How to Protect Your Photos Online

1. Update your social media privacy settings

Social media privacy settings are constantly changing, getting updated and providing less and less privacy as time goes on. Check out how privacy on Facebook has changed in the past few years and you’ll see that your content audience grew from friends and your network to the entire Internet, if you didn’t update your privacy settings.

In order to keep some semblance of control over your online presence, check your social media privacy settings regularly and make sure your photos, posts and other sensitive information can only be seen by your network.

2. Run an online photo audit

How to Do an Online Photo Audit

3. Turn off location services

Did you know your social media posts can geo-tag and store your locations? That means someone could map your daily schedule and learn your routine based on where and how often you post. If you post a photo of your morning coffee, marketers and anyone looking with the right software can see your morning coffee run. If you take a photo of your child at school, #firstdayofschool, people will be able to see where your child goes to school.

“In the age of hypersocial media, things you post can come back to haunt you,” according to the article All your social media posts now sorted by location and up for sale.

Unless you’re on vacation or visiting away from home, the extra cautious social media posters may want to avoid photos of recognizable landmarks that others can use to identify your location. A nondescript Starbucks in the background is fine, but rethink that photo with the office building where you work.

4. Lower the resolution

Facebook, Instagram and many other social media platforms state in their terms of use that any photos uploaded can be used for promotional purposes. Here’s a story about a Malaysian newspaper that stole photos of children online to use on their front page and website. You can discourage sites and unscrupulous businesses from using your photos for promotional material by lowering the resolution you upload.

Keep your original photos in one place, and copy the files of all the photos you want to upload to social media. Compress the images for the web, which should make them too small for print or ad materials, but high quality enough for others to see your image.

5. Stay in control

A simple solution to protecting your social media privacy is to use a private photo app that allows you to share, organize and store all of your photos (with unlimited storage space) with the assurance of complete security. No complicated terms and conditions, no hidden sharing clauses, and with your utmost privacy as their main concern.

Sherish is a photo sharing app that was built specifically in the interest of photo privacy.

6 reasons to use Sherish

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