Tech Tips – Photo Safety

‘Tis the season for holiday gatherings, family trips, and lots and lots of pictures. Most pictures these days are taken with phones or other digital cameras, and almost immediately posted onto some social media platform or another. The desire to show Aunt Mae the Christmas Brunch, or share with Grandma and Grandpa the little ones opening presents is innate in many. However, there should be some caution before uploading your precious memories.

Just about every single cell phone or smartphone on the market today can take and send pictures; you just have to know where you plan to share these images. There are many ways to share images nowadays. Where we used to just mail them out once or twice a year, now we can share them instantly several times a day.

Social Media

Facebook? Instagram? Social media is a great way to share your experiences with a wide range of people, but how wide do you want that range to be? More and more it is recommended to keep your profiles private, and only allow those you know to see what you share. Locking down the privacy settings can be tricky, and depending on the kind of profile you like to maintain, may crimp your style. If this is an issue, maybe that’s not the best place to share your pictures.

Cloud Sharing

Most smartphones and tablets have cloud storage for your photos. Some will automatically upload your pictures the moment you take them. This is a great way to ensure they are safe from device failures and many kinds of accidental deletion. This is also an advantage for those who want to share their images with only a specific group of people. You can look through your photos, select the pictures you want, pick the people who can view them, and hit share. Those images will instantly be viewable to that group and that group alone.

Email, Messaging, and Text

Email and instant messages are still good ways to share images as well. Better suited to one image at a time, for a no-fuss method, this is a quick and easy choice.

Further Caution

Some cameras or camera apps will automatically tag your photos with the location they were taken at. Go through your settings to check the status of that and disable it, if you wish.

Before you post your pictures in any way, think about who or what is in your image. Some people prefer to remain offline and not have their pictures shared. With foster kids, there are legal reasons not to share their images. Any pictures of credit/debit cards, checks or identification cards could lead to identity theft.

Travel Plans

Bonus Tip: Before you announce your families’ travel plans, be sure that your home is safe and secure; better yet, don’t share that you are going away, but after the trip tell everyone where you have been. The Facebook check-in from the airport and Micky photobombing the kids is all fun and wonderful, but it also tells the more nefarious amongst us that your house lies empty and perhaps unprotected for at least a week.

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