By Lyz Lenz
Putting up your child’s pictures on Facebook is the easiest way to share them with friends and family, but if you’re not careful, those pictures can be lifted and used without your permission. And it’s not just Facebook that you have to be worried about, Tweeting pictures, putting them on a blog or a message board signature, make you and your pictures vulnerable to attack. Here are three tips to help you protect yourself and your pictures.
Lower the resolution of the photo
Danielle Smith, a blogger and mother, posted her family Christmas card picture online. Six months later, a friend, living in Prague, spotting the picture in an ad for a grocery store. The owner of the store said he found the picture online and had no idea it belonged to a real family.
The truth is, when searching for images, many people just do a Google search and lift the pictures they find. This is a violation of copyright, but no one seems to know or care. Smith told MSNBC that the next time she posts a picture of her family she will lower the resolution so it can’t be enlarged for printing.
Alison Chang’s photo was uploaded onto Flickr and then used in a Virgin Mobile campaign. The only problem, they didn’t ask for her permission and the ad was derogatory. Don’t take that chance. Chang and her family are suing Virgin Mobile, but don’t take that chance. If you upload any picture of your child or your family to a photo-sharing site, make sure you embed a watermark on the photo. This is done easily on a photo editing site like Picnik.com.
Tighten your security settings
Victoria Jones, a teacher in the UK, recently lost her job because she stole baby photos from a friend’s Facebook site and passed off the pictures like they were her own. She did this for two years. And she’s not the only one. On a mommy message board I frequent, a user got banned for stealing pictures from other peoples’ signatures. Be ye not so foolish. Either don’t post pictures of your baby online, or tighten your security settings. Facebook allows you to specify who can see your photo albums on their photo privacy page linked here. Only allow access to close friends and family, because while it may be fun to show your baby off, you never know what other people might be doing with those pictures.
Are you afraid of someone stealing your kid’s pictures?
About the Author:
Lyz Lenz is a writer, a mom and a midwesterner. Although, not in that order. She lives in Iowa and on the web at LyzLenz.com