In Cyber Safety

Photo Protection: What could happen with your photos?

Photo Protection

Born visual creatures our need to take photos started because out of our need to draw what we see as a record of past events. As we age our memories become fuzzy and jumble a bit due to all the information acquired over a lifetime. Photography developed as a way to quickly record an event visually. Once a photo has been taken how do you preserve it or better yet how do you protect it. Learn about Photo Protection here. 

Photo Spoilers

Once a picture is taken the game becomes preservation. Older photos emulsion over time can deteriorate due to bright sunlight. Keeping precious pictures out of direct sunlight helps it last as long as possible. Humidity deteriorates paper based items since paper absorbs moisture that makes a good environment for mold, and mildew. Controlling ambient air temperature allows preservation to happen. Having an adequate storage container makes a difference. Insects such as silver fish or roaches eat paper when hungry. Rodents with their need for gnawing makes for damage as well. Putting photos in a sturdy container prevents damage from critters and can protect photos from humidity as well.

Human Touch

If a person has a business in photography they learn quickly that the oils from human hands can damage photos. The constant filing through the photos puts wear or tear on it as well. As photographs move in boxes the natural rubbing against each other produces scratches. Watching what museums do with older photographs gives ideas what an individual collector can do to create maximum preservation of specific items. Often plastic sleeves cover each individual photo adding an additional layer of protection. Choose albums carefully that use page sleeves for photos. Ones with pockets are better than ones with magnets or adhesives.

Large Photos

Poster size photos have some type of matted backing. Check the precautions for wood or tag board. Often because of the size these photos do not receive the same level of protection. In most cases need more protection since exposure to natural sunlight or fluorescent light happens for longer periods of time. Use archival boxes to put poster sized images in to storage.


Older photographs often have negatives. The same treatment given to photos applies to the negatives as well. An additional feature of labeling the negatives may make it easier during a disaster to asses which photos need replacement. Negatives need storage somewhere away from the photographs. That way if something happens to the photos the negatives are available for reprint. Most insurances cover photography equipment but not the photos or negatives. Put plenty of protection on photos and negatives you care about.

Digital Photos

Digital photos develop from an entirely different line of thinking. Made of pixels there portability across different Internet platforms makes their images more accessible to the general population. Photography at professional and amateur level has had explosive growth. With any transformation or growth new issues arise most having to do with privacy or rights to use. Just like the emulsion based photos they need protection.

Hacking Photos

Using various Internet platforms to transfer photos either for commercial or private use has been convenient. Daily the media has a story about the hacking of celebrity photos. Image has become money in the Hollywood or Broadway crowds.

Private images used inappropriately cost celebrities either in reputation or opportunity. At the same time public relations persons have unscrupulously in the past created bad press to get a celebrity noticed again.

In our ordinary lives it has become about privacy. A person should decide how and when one of their images gets used. If you post on social media and do not put a disclaimer then the image is free to use. If you have it on a platform with a password in place then someone snatches it they have violated your privacy rights. Make sure those photos you wish to remain private are on well trusted, well protected sites. Be aware much software exists that allows manipulation of images or a remix.

Also know a lawyer can get a subpoena and get to those images but it does take a court document. Email, Gmail, Facebook, or Twitter or not truly private. There are ways to filter these but basically they are open platforms to the public.

Photobucket, Flickr or deviantart are more like an individual club and you have options to decide which photos display and which do not but are not entirely private either. Photos on your computer’s hard drive are private entirely unless you choose to share them.

When Privates Go Public

Many people especially with significant others like to send nudity across Internet and phone lines. It is not illegal in general for most Western countries as long as it does not involve someone younger than 18. Individual countries do have different filters and rules about it with the East being much more conservative than the West about it.

Surprisingly it is adults doing most of the sexting. It has been adults in long term relationships seeking ways to spice it up. According to Pew Research smart phone owners partnered for up to 10 years reached the 32 percent level of likely to receive a sext from a significant other. According to AARP, adults 55 and older in the senior citizen crowd have been sending naughty pictures as much as 1 in 10 to someone they like. AARP viewed it as such a developing trend that in their magazine the listed ways to sext safely. Even in 2014 it continues to increase as those reach the 55 year mark are even more savvy and been doing it for years. Teenagers do it as well but for different reasons but are not the largest group sexting by far it is an adult activity.

General Tips on Digital Photos

With the advent of the cloud in cyberspace many more places exist to store digital photos. Putting photos in the cloud gets them off the hard drive an on to servers. This makes your photos accessible from any device that is Internet capable. Plus the added advantage of if something happens to your personal computer your photos are retrievable. Put photos in several places such as a platform like Photobucket, your Facebook Account which can be set to limit the views of the photos, and in the cloud services. Check if the cloud service has been hacked in the past and see if they put in place new protocols. This protects data that is precious to you.

Make intentional decisions on what to share publicly and what to share privately. Then find the platform that best fits your needs. Choose several venues to save your photos. Remember storage devices such as pen drives exist as well. Be aware the technology is still new and we do not know how the data preserves in a 100 years. Your more precious photos you wish to pass on to future family consider professional printing options and storing.

Best of all enjoy the technology that made it possible to enjoy a moment in time long after it has passed.

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