Safer ways to share photos

A better way to share photos

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - So many of us use social media sites like Facebook and Instagram as the way we share our favorite photos with our friends and relatives.

Cyber expert, Theresa Payton, says once a picture is digitally shared, it is possible that the photo you marked private could become very public.

Theresa says there are other options you might want to consider.  Her advice follows:

1.  Email:  

Pros:  You control the distribution list when you send it

Cons:  Can clog up your email box and the recipient's mail box and they can copy or send the photo to someone else

2.  Texting a photo:

Pros:  You control who sees it when you send it; the phone usually compresses the image to save space

Cons:  Not good if you want to send a whole album; the recipient might not have unlimited texting; the recipient has a copy

3.  Text Like or Message Like Services:

Pros:  Services are quick and easy and sometimes the photos will "expire" or "disappear" after the recipient looks at them.

Cons:  Once it's digital, "deleted" doesn't necessarily mean deleted.  Not good for lots of photos

Sample services to try are:  Snapchat, WhatsApp, or Viber.

4.  Photo Sites

Pros:  Many of the photo sites let you create a guest list for sharing and sometimes you have a feature to password protect albums

Cons:  Lots of marketing and advertising and the photo sharing is set up to try to get you to buy the photos

Try services such as Photobucket, Flickr, SnapFish or Shutterfly

5.  File sharing services

Pros:  You can share more than photos and you can share a lot of photos

Cons:  Since they are file sharing sites, photos look like files and in many cases have to be opened by the recipient before they can see the photo

Try services like Google drive, Apple Cloud, Box, and DropBox

6.  Paid Photo Sites

Pros:  You are paying for a service so the marketing and ads go down and you have additional features

Cons:  You are committed to that service and would have to move your photos if you don't want to continue to pay the fees

Try a service like Smugmug or iMemories

Before you use any of these services follow these 5 tips:

1.  Grandmom rule:  If you would be embarrassed for your Grandmom to see the photo, don't share it!

2.  Bad Guy rule:  If someone could use the photo to hurt you or someone you love, don't share it!

3.  Privacy policy:  read the app's privacy policy - do they sell or use YOUR Photos?

4.  Privacy settings:  use all the privacy settings they offer and check them often to make sure they are set the way you want them to be

5.  Keep a back up:  keep an offline copy of photos on a hard drive, DVDs, or an alternative place in case your service crashes or goes out of business

Word of the Week - Panopticlick determines how easy you are to identify based on your web browser's 'fingerprint'.

Copyright 2014 WBTV. All rights reserved.