How to Know When People Use Your Photos?

How to Know When People Use Your Photos?
Photo by Free Creative Commons/Flickr
Everyone knows about using photos of more attractive strangers to catfish unsuspecting suckers on the internet. There’s the enraged ex,posting photos of their beloved with the intent to humiliate them into reconciliation. But more often than not, photos are stolen by the lazy. Those too slack to make their own images.

It seems the only guaranteed anti-theft is to never post anything. If thieves want it, they’ll take it. Depressing, and true.

How do you know if your photos are being used by other people? These steps will guide you through a simple search of the internet to find your photos. With any luck, you’ll just find your Facebook page, Twitter feed, or Instagram account.

Are You Feeling Lucky?

You will end up with a list of all websites where your photos appear, with or without your permission. These steps are simple - follow them carefully. Here we go!

  • You are going to use the website Google to create a “Reverse Image Search”.
  • Open your internet browser.
  • Find the image you want to investigate.
  • Bring your pointer to hover over the image.
  • Use the right click function.
  • Now you will copy the URL of your image.
  • If you are using Firefox, select “Copy Image Location”.
  • If you are using Safari, select “Copy Image Address”.
  • If you are using Explorer, select ‘Properties’, highlight the “Address”, click CTRL-C.
  • Paste your image’s URL that you copied into Google and click “Search”.
  • You will get a result page and you next click “Search by Image”.
  • A grid of “Visually Similar Images” will appear.
  • Scroll down to see the image you are searching for.
  • Click on each image to take you to where your image is posted on the internet.
  • Freak out.
Aaahh, Freak Out!

Well, don’t immediately freak out. Have a look around and decide the level of freaking out per result. Of course you’ll see anywhere you have posted the image yourself. You may also see where friends or relatives have copied and posted your image. And you may even find some places that your image is posted that discusses if for some reason, hopefully a reason related to you, and hopefully not with a sour snout full of snark.

But if you find your image on a site that is completely irrelevant to you and appears to be flat-out stolen you do have a few options, some preventative, some after the fact.

Protect Yo’self!

  • Digitally watermark or emboss your photos.
  • Layer your images so thieves get only the top layer, which you’ve made clear.
  • Cut your images up and reassemble via HTML code.
But remember, no preventative measure protects you against a thief who knows about taking a screenshot. Your recourse when you find theft is to complain to the culprit...ummm, yeah. You can complain to the company who hosts the offending site. You can complain to Google. Or you can crawl into a hole and stop using the internet. Sigh. SIGH.

Author Bio: Sheila Kurdinger likes DontPayFull because they offer such a wide selection of items. She also likes to read all sorts of infographics online whenever she has a little spare time because they help her understand complex topics easily - at least the good ones!
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