By Tom Munro, CEO
Recently, a well-publicized incident came to light in which a teenager posted pictures to her Photobucket account and, without her knowledge, these pictures were shared across multiple sites. I want to address this issue openly so that you know what we are doing to protect you, and to help our customers understand how to best protect themselves online with regard to posting images, in the hope of preventing this from happening to other users.
Although this incident is unfortunate and tragic, there are precautions that our users can take; photo sharing can be made safer when you follow the privacy guidelines that are outlined by most online photo sharing sites.
Here are some tips on how to better ensure your photos and videos are protected online:
- Do not post any pictures of yourself or others on any site that does not have privacy settings and/or is not a trusted site.
- For any photo sharing sites to which you post, use a strong password – I suggest using numbers and letters in a mix of both lower case and upper case. Do not give your password to anyone at any time.
- Make sure you read and understand the privacy rules and settings of any site prior to posting.
- For any site on which you currently post pictures, review your current settings immediately to ensure you are protected.
- Parents should regularly check their children’s settings on any photo hosting/sharing sites.
- On Photobucket specifically, you can do the following once you are logged in:
- Review and edit all of your account settings by clicking the drop down arrow next to your profile picture, selecting “account settings” and clicking the privacy tab.
- Check each of your album privacy settings by clicking the “My Home” tab, then “Album Options”.
- You can easily make your albums private or public with a simple click - when you set up a new album, simply select whether you want it to be public or private.
- You can also set up a password protected album so the content will only be visible to friends and family that you invite.
- Keep in mind, when you share a link to a picture or album or an album password, anyone with that link can share with anyone else. So share safe & smart!
Photobucket users' privacy and safety is our utmost concern, therefore, in addition to what you as a user can do, the follow measures are what we are diligently doing to protect you every day:
- All suspect content and accounts are reviewed by a member of our content moderation team
- There are double reviews of moved, renamed or keyword-heavy content.
- Our content moderation team is comprehensively and continually trained to keep an eye out for illegal content.
- We have a dedicated staff that handles child pornography, copyright infringement and related issues, and we work closely with local, federal and international law enforcement to ensure the legality of photos and videos.
We are truly concerned that this incident happened, and that it happened to a Photobucket user. However, we are confident that the measures we have in place and the safety guidelines we have mentioned above can protect you and your family so that you feel confident sharing and storing your memories with Photobucket for years to come.