Cyber Safety Tips For Bloggers & Anyone Sharing Personal Photos Online
Cyber security… not a topic that conjures up thoughts of leisurely strolls through a field of brightly colored tulips. Yet an important topic that must be discussed whether one is a blogger or a proud mama sharing photos of her family online.
I’m not trying to scare you, but feel it important to share a shocking and unnerving event that involved some of my blog photos and a woman (we shall call her Cruela, to protect her shady identity) with less than honerable intentions.
Picture this, you are at your desk, blogging your little heart out, when you receive an email from a stranger on your blog email account. You open said email, to discover several of your blog photos have been copied by a complete stranger, then loaded onto a dating site, by a woman claiming the photos are of her.
Blink twice if I’ve just completely freaked you out! I know, right?
Here’s the part that saved me, I always take the extra step to add my name and blog url in the copyright portion of my photos. Had I not done so, I might never have known of this scary situation.
Cruela picked the wrong dude to play, because this man’s job has everything to do with computers and cyberspace. So before he took their online discussions any further, he performed a reverse image search on MY photos, which led him directly to my blog.
He was kind enough to send an email to alert me of Cruela’s actions (her puppies would be crying in the background) complete with screen shots of my photos she had used on the dating site! My stomach was sick at this point, my mind utterly blown.
Safety check: You have disabled “Photo Location” on the cell phone you use to shoot photos, right? If not, please do so immediately if not sooner. Jonet Wooten
The honest man then promptly turned Cruela in to the dating website, where she was officially booted out and banned. Will that be enough to stop her? I’m honestly afraid to know the answer.
The internet is like the wild Wild West these days and the tips and tools shared in this post will in all likelihood, not stop anyone from stealing and using your photos, a sad but true fact these days.
However, I highly encourage you to invest a minute to link your photos to your blog or website for at least some level of copyright and tracking ability.
If you are using a digital camera, google your brand’s instructions for setting up copyright information directly on your camera. You input the data once, and afterwards, every photo will have your contact info. Easy peasy.
Here’s a link to Photoshop’s simple tutorial to protecting your photos.
Adding Your Contact And Copyright Info To Your Photos With Photoshop
Cool, but what if you are using neither of the above. No problem, you might be familiar with the free online photo editing website called Canva. If not, get to know her, she’ll up your blogging game, big time.
Step 1: Log into the Canva Website HERE.
Step 2: In the top left corner, select “Create a Design”.
Step 3: Choose the type of photo you wish to create, (Facebook, Instagram, etc).
Step 4: Upload your image.
Step 5: Click on your photo (left side) and drag it onto your canvas.
Step 6: Now click anywhere on your canvas. In the top right corner, you’ll see two chains linked together. Click there (see illustration below).
Step 7: You should see a drop down box where you can enter the URL address for your website (see illustration below) then click, “Apply”.
Step 8: Finally, click “Publish” (top right) and then download to your computer or share to social media.
Taaadaaah! Like I said, it won’t stop the bad guys (or girls) but at least you can keep track of your photos.
Now you might be curious if any of your own photos have been pilfered by a cyber burglar, right? Not to worry, here’s a free tool to check:
2 Tools to Perform Reverse Image Searches Online
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to protect yourself when you become an online personality. It gives people around the world, access to your photos, thoughts and more.
Safety check: You have disabled “Photo Location” on the cell phone you use to shoot photos, right? If not, please do so immediately if not sooner.
Having Photo Location enabled on your phone, allows ANYONE to see a map of your exact photo location. Should that be your backyard…. danger Will Robinson.
I’m not intending to be Debbie Downer in this post, but cyber security is a real concern, and as women, we need to know about the dangers we might face as well as some tools we can implement to proactively protect ourselves.
To read all our blogging tips for beginners, click here: MY NEW BLOG IS AWSOME.
What do you do to protect yourself online?
Until next time, keep on blogging, babes.