Top tips for sharing photos safely online

As part of Safer Internet Day 2013, Flickr, Yahoo!'s photo hosting and sharing service, has offered guidelines on how to share photos safely online. (Image: Flickr)

Every day, millions of us share photos online - but even seemingly innocent snaps can pose security risks.

Many smartphones 'geotag' photographs, and sharing tagged photos can give away an address to criminals.

On social networks such as Facebook, privacy settings can also leave photos 'open' to the wider world - not ideal for family snaps.

As part of Safer Internet Day 2013, Flickr, Yahoo!'s photo hosting and sharing service, has offered guidelines on how to share photos safely online.

Every day, 3.5million photos are uploaded to Flickr - 2,500 a minute - but the tips are applicable to most photo-sharing services, and underline risks that many of us might not be aware of.


                          [Related: Download Flickr's new app here]



Jennifer Davies, European Product Marketing Manager for Flickr, says: "Every day we upload millions of pictures to the internet, each one telling its own story - and so does the data attached to it."

"This year, as part of Safer Internet Day 2013, Flickr is helping you understand how to make sure your photos are as secure and private as you want them to be."

1.  Watch your privacy settings


"As with all social network data, make sure you are aware of your privacy settings. Flickr allows you to make your photos as private as you want them to be and change the default photo privacy settings accordingly – you can change these for your whole account or for each individual photo on Flickr, and choose from the options of 'Public', 'visible to Friends', 'visible to Family', 'visible to Friends & Family', or 'Private'."

2.   Be careful about geotagged photos

"Some photos store data that carries map locations – 300million Flickr photos are geotagged. Double-check to make sure your photos are not geotagged if you don’t want people to see where they’re taken.

"Flickr also allows you to set up geofences around locations such as your home or your children's school which automatically ensures that pictures taken here never publicly show the geolocation."



                          [Related: Download Flickr's new app here]



3.  If you see inappropriate photos, report them

"If you stumble across a photo you know shouldn’t be there or you feel should include stricter content control, report it! This way services can review it, restrict it and take it down if needed."


4.    Let others use your photos - if you want

"At Flickr, your photos are always yours. You can also choose to make your photographs available for others to use through the many flavours of Creative Commons licenses – there are currently over 200 million Creative Commons-licensed photos on Flickr."

"Along with some of our partners, we have a lot of great ways to get involved this Safer Internet Day. Check out our ideas, and let us know how you’ll be involved. We’ll be covering the events of Safer Internet Day on Twitter at @YahooSafely."

Download the new Flickr iPhone app here.

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