Protecting Your Image: Online Dating and Private Photo Sharing

Do you feel safe handing photos of yourself out to everyone in the world not understanding their intentions, mental stability, police arrest records or position in your workplace? Most of us wouldn't, yet scores of people just do that every day-by posting their photos on online dating sites, classified personals like craigslist, e-mailing them or using other non-secure channels.

Private Photos

 Intimate photos

We've grown to believe the Internet as a fixture in your daily lives. However, a digital world poses the same threats to our personal safety and privacy because the real world, only amplified through its ability to connect anyone with any amount of data that floats freely over the ether. In the world of online dating, people may suffer safer because they share images anonymously but, in fact, this just uncovers more questions about who under consideration and vice versa.

Sharing photos through text, e-mail, online dating sites or public photo sharing environments puts your image facing anyone and everyone, possibly in your personal safety, reputation as well as your employability. In one high-profile case, Congressman Chris Lee's shirtless photo, e-mailed female that he met on craigslist, forced him to resign after his "private" image went public. Nevertheless, you don't have to be famous for being the victim of misused photo sharing. In Dallas, a firefighter lost his job following your husband of a woman with whom he had an affair informed the fire department of the nude photos that the firefighter posted on various adult online dating sites that were specifically marketed for casual sexual encounters. In Canada, a judge stepped down after explicit pictures, taken by her attorney husband and shared through e-mail without her knowledge, surfaced online on the porn website.

smartphone privacy

Moreover, there are many cases when someone's photo has been stolen or saved and used by another to create a fictitious online identity-a scenario chronicled inside the documentary film Catfish. While several states have updated their laws to add online impersonation as a crime, it is often hard to track, with many unaware that they are victims. In one instance, a California man had his pictures "borrowed" and utilized by another man who had been meeting women with a popular Jewish dating site. It turned out only by chance that he knew a woman who had been communicating with this man along received the pictures during their correspondence. In another instance, a 24-year-old Denver woman had her photos and details obtained from her Facebook page and used by a 46-year-old woman for more than six months to communicate with guys who she met on various paid and free dating sites. No court action was taken through the state in either case.

Online dating sites are also a playing ground for con artists usually, criminals and sex offenders. Countless stories have surfaced about those who have sent money or goods to people who have romanced them online; others have already been robbed at knifepoint, sexually abused and also murdered. It is wise, therefore, to provide a layer of protection on your screening process by protecting your images and identity.

If you want to share photos achievable online charmer-or with anyone else, for that matter-you should look into a private photo sharing service. These facilities offer a closed, secure environment by which members can share photos, anonymously or otherwise. When selecting such a service, be sure to have control over who specifically looks at your photos, which photos they're able to see and how long the photos remain viewable in their mind. Also, confirm that the website offers security features that protect your images from being captured or saved by the viewer in order to prevent them from getting used in an unintended way.

Posting a user profile Picture

Meeting someone online does involve realizing that there will be a certain degree of attraction, so posting an image in an online profile has been shown to increase the number of responses a web based dater receives. Some services go a little more forward to protect your anonymity. One private photo sharing site, by way of example, lets you create a "teaser image" that clouds your image ample to keep your identity private, while still allowing viewers to get a general idea of whatever you look like. Members can post this teaser image available as a JPEG file, link or clickable image on paid dating sites or other online locations in their personal profile and direct the individuals that they are interested in time for the website to see their actual photo. The service also uses patent-pending technology to avoid people from saving, forwarding or otherwise not tampering with your images when they have viewing use of them.