Should You Change Your Profile Picture to Protect Your Privacy?


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The internet is no longer text-based, and with more pictures, videos, and graphics online, technology has also gotten smarter and able to translate these images into something more tangible. Before all this technology started booming, search engines were not able to “read” an image on a website. So web developers would give the image an alt tag and name it so they could know what it was about.

But those days are about to come to an end. With facial recognition technology just warming up to the consumer world, images are no longer unreadable.

Computers read your face like a QR code and find other images of you that exist online. And as we well know, with the social media craze in its prime, there are many images of ourselves out there that we probably don’t even know exist. Someone at a party or friend’s house may take your picture without your knowledge and within 2 hours it is posted on Facebook or Flickr.

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Hiding Behind Moniker or Several Online Personas?

With facial recognition technology any picture that looks like you can easily be found in a matter of moments, even the ones you wish didn’t exist. Hiding behind a fake name or pseudonym will be a thing of the past as all of your aliases will be easily found by your potential employer or mate.

A recent study showed that 90% of people use their real names on their Facebook profiles. And with most people using a picture of their faces for their profile pics, it makes it simple and easy to find out who someone really is. Say you just met someone and you want to know more about them. You can instantly take their picture and search for it online and find all of those matches, and see some of their info on their Facebook page as well. After all, we all have Facebook profiles don’t we?

Managing Your Brand and Privacy Online

Some people are now advocating that we change our Facebook profile pictures so we are not at risk of privacy concerns. For while it is convenient to be able to find out if someone has a double life online, it is also scary when you consider that perfect strangers can find all of your once private information online just by having a picture of your face.

I am not saying you should go out and change your profile picture to protect your identity. But this new technology does raise a few concerns about how private our lives really are. The internet has made the private things public, and while this has shamed a lot of politicians lately, it can also expose a major security threat to your identity. And with it being easier than ever to retrieve someone’s personal information using the internet, it’s also more important than ever to have a plan for protecting your identity.

cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by dequoi

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