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Who’s Gawking at Your Photos?

Who’s Gawking at Your Photos?

By Michelle Hainer

With all of the photo-sharing apps and websites out there, it’s easier than ever to stay up-to-date on the lives of loved ones. But with the freedom and accessibility comes concern about who you want viewing your online photos: Grandma? Yes. Creepy guy from high school whose friend request you accepted out of guilt? Not so much. So before you upload your personal snapshots, keep these tips in mind.

  1. Choose a safe site for your photos. Photo-sharing services like Shutterfly, KODAK Gallery, Snapfish and KeepandShare let you post your photos on a password-protected (and free!) space. Only users with the password have access to your photos.
  1. Be mindful of Facebook’s privacy settings. Facebook allows users to choose who sees the photos they post. You can make them available just to your friends, or open up your albums to friends of friends too -- or even everyone (meaning, the entire Facebook network). But unless you’re comfortable having strangers view photos from your kid’s first birthday party, choose the friends-only option.
  1. Back up photos to the cloud. Even if you never plan on sharing one snapshot, storing your photos on a site like PictureTrail.com or an online backup service such as Mozy is a good idea. Cloud services let you back up your photos, so if your computer or external hard drive were to crash or get stolen, your pictures would still be preserved somewhere. So if you don’t already have an account for a file-storing online service, sign up for one to preserve your memories.

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Michelle Hainer is a freelance consumer technology writer and editor in New York.