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The Dark Side of Posting Personal Photos & Videos

Don't underestimate the downside of posting personal images and videos online for strangers to see and download.

It seems that everyone is posting images and videos of everything. Every single move, event, opinion — and meal. With that comes a bit of risk if you are not careful. So let’s discuss the dark side of posting personal photos and videos.

Location, Location, Location

Photos that are made public can let those who don’t know you (or unknowingly to you want to know you better) see where you are. When you are out and about, you aren’t at home. This opens the doors for strangers to visit your location or check out your unmonitored home.

If you think it is not easy to get details about where you live — you are wrong. Those who are committed to finding where you go and live will.

Online is Forever

It is tough to scrub everything you’ve ever posted. Once you upload an image, all someone has to do is right-click, copy, and they can download it.

There are stories about images being used in ways you wouldn’t be happy about. Videos? Well, those can be doctored and changed to something you may disapprove of (deep fakes).

deepfake: /ˈdēpˌfāk/ noun

a video of a person in which their face or body has been digitally altered so that they appear to be someone else, typically used maliciously or to spread false information.”the committee hearing on worldwide threats cited deepfakes as a growing concern”

Oxford Lanuages

What About the Children?

Just don’t. Be a protector and boldly shield their images from the online world. Why would you open up your child’s image to be used without your permission? Once posted, you’ve lost control of how that image may be used.

What about possible kidnapping and pedophiles? These folks relish taking photos of minors and using them in ways that would make you blush. Believe me; your stomach would turn if you knew the dark side of what adults do with and how they use children’s images.

The exception would be a closed online community with folks you know and trust — such as family and friends. But, even then, hacks can occur.

Think of the Future

Sure some photos and videos are funny. But will those images being out there impact anyone’s future? For example, you post a video of yourself ranting about something you are unhappy about. If discovered, could that affect future opportunities for you (or your spouse or family members)?

Your teenager does something stupid, and you post a video. What if a college recruiter or future employer finds that video? What if their friends see how you, as a parent, don’t hesitate to embarrass them online?

It is now standard operating procedure to check online and social media when considering doing business with, hiring, or working with an individual or small business. But can your videos and images have a negative impact not only on you but your family?

Why Post in the First Place?

I inherently knew from the start, being online before most, to carefully guard my personal information and off-line life. So I don’t have the need or desire to show anyone what I’m eating or doing or what I agree or disagree about. My online participation is strictly for business.

Having this approach for decades means my personal life is unavailable online—no photos, updates, personal opinions, or activities of where I went or am going. As a result, strangers would have no idea of the specifics of my location at any given time and what I am up to. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Questions to Ask Before Posting Photos/Videos

So think about why you are sharing so much online and if that is a good idea by asking yourself:

  • Will this image come back to haunt me or those involved?
  • Does the image provide personal details to strangers that may compromise my safety or that of family and friends?
  • Could that video cause embarrassment or loss of potential future opportunities for those involved?
  • Do you need the attention that badly to post images/videos for strangers to view?
  • Do you ask permission first before uploading any images/videos that contain others?

Social media friends are not “friends” in the true sense of the word. It is very easy to make others think you are someone you are not. Remember that.

One last thing, to help shield your location while online, consider having a VPN. VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network” and allows for establishing a secure network connection when using public networks. By encrypting your internet traffic and disguising your online identity having a VPN makes it more difficult for third parties to track your activities online and steal data.
I use ExpressVPN.

So, think twice, how about thrice, before posting any personal media online to ensure that the image or video is not something you’ll regret. And if it includes others and you are posting without their knowledge, you are not compromising their safety or future.

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