There is a certain amount of paranoia on the web that has to be maintained. As our lives become increasingly centered around the digital world, we have to take extra steps to protect ourselves from strangers who might wish us harm.
We all know not to put our social security number somewhere public, or give bank details to messages claiming to be companies we know. We also know not to provide too many personal details to strangers on forums, in chatrooms, over instant message or on websites. All of this has become more or less second nature, and newer generations are growing up with those very rules being instilled.
But we don’t always factor in the less sinister sounding threats. Security settings that let people read our Twitter updates. Video clips on YouTube that show general locations we might be. GPS locators and the extensive data it keeps on where you go day after day. Or photographs on Facebook, which can give people a look right into your life, your home and your loved ones.
Most of us lock down our accounts so no one we don’t know can see what we post. But how do you make sure people you specifically want, such as family, are able to see photo albums while no one else can? What if there is a specific group of people on your friend’s list, such as coworkers or clients, you want to keep personal images away from? How about if you don’t want them on your social media site at all?
Thankfully, this isn’t at all hard to do. All it takes is a little customization.
If you are wanting to make an album on Facebook, you can customize who sees what. When you post a new status message, just look down at the little icon with people. It will let you change whether or not you want to be posting to a specific group already set, just friend, or completely customize by person.
Albums can also be customized this way. Just hover over each created album and hit Edit. From there it will allow you to specify who can and cannot see it.
To stay off of social networking, you could always ask them to download a DropBox account. That will allow you to share files between your synced computers, updating things automatically. It is also a quick way to transfer a larger file from one person to another, without breaking photos into multiple attachments. Just compress the folder with the appropriate software and send it along.
Photo Sharing Sites
A photo host site is another great way to get photos to who you want and no one else. For example, Photobucket, TinyPic, DropShots, and dozens of others. You can make the albums or the whole account private. To allow someone access, just give them the password and they can log in to view the photos without having access to change, add or delete anything.
Another benefit to this is you will be able to share any photos through direct linking, image embedding or email sending using the code given with each upload. You can also use it for things like layouts, which is a convenient way of customizing other sites.
Pinterest is a popular site, but for a long time it was entirely open to browse. While not everyone could upload to it without an invite, anyone could view what others were putting up. That is, until last year when they introduced their secret boards.
Just upload your pins onto a board as you normally would, then when you are editing the settings of the board itself you can set it to ‘secret’. Then invite anyone you want to have access it to it, and keep the photos from everyone else.
There are plenty of reasons to make certain albums and photos private. There are plenty of options to do so, as well. Don’t feel like you have to give just anyone a peek into your personal life. Regulate who views what, and share what you like with friends and family. Leave everyone else out of it.