How to Share Your Family Photos Safely While Maintaining Your Privacy

With so many recent instances of celebrities and other well-known individuals having their personal photo accounts hacked and stolen, many people are wondering whether it is possible to share their photos online without having someone access the photos without permission. New apps and other security features allow you to share your favorite digital photos with friends and family while maintaining your privacy and safety online.

Set up Privacy Settings

The first step in securing privacy with shared photos is to manage security settings. Each social networking platform offers account management services that users can tinker with to maintain privacy. You can set up a group of close family to share photos with so that none of your other contacts has access to them. You could also create a secret closed group and add people by invitation only and share your photos there. Be sure to opt out of facial recognition settings that some social networking websites offer. Avoid tagging people in your photos as the tags allow those people and their friends to have access to your photos. You might even consider setting up a separate profile on your favorite social networking site and only inviting close family and friends for photo sharing.

Independent Photo Sharing Websites

There are many online services that allow you to upload digital photos and share access through emailed invitations. In order to view the photos, invited guests must have a userid and password to the account. There is no way to accidentally upload intimate photos. Account managers can revoke access to any guest at any time. Some of these services offer free basic accounts while others require you to pay for premium services.

Use the iCloud

If you have an iPhone, you can use it to upload your photos to the iCloud. Create shared photo streams by going to iPhoto > Preferences > Photo Stream on your iPhone. You can invite different people to view different streams of files. Avoid enabling the My Photo stream unless you want your photos to be accessible by hackers. iCloud accounts are simple to set up and free to use but they only work on Macs and Apple devices.

Go Analog

Today’s teenagers and even 20-somethings may not even realize that such a thing as film cameras ever existed. However, if you’d like to maintain strict privacy while still showing off your child’s first steps or your family vacation, a good old film camera is the way to go. You may be able to purchase film and even the camera and specialty lenses online. To get the film developed, there may still be local services in your community that offer the services. Film processing centers can even add special touches such as sepia toning or black and white coloring just like digital photo editing software can. To preserve your memories, you can use a scanner to digitize them and store the files on the storage media of your choice.