How to protect yourself against revenge porn

These are four ways to stay safe when sharing risqué images

Sarah Young
Thursday 24 August 2017 10:01
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If you’ve ever sent a nude photo or a sext, you’re by no means alone but with widespread adoption of smartphones and the modern ease of social media, revenge porn has become an epidemic.

A form of online harassment, revenge porn – the distribution of nude photos or videos without consent - has the ability to damage a person’s reputation, career, family life and self-esteem.

Despite this, it was only in 2015 that a specific law was created to help combat the irreparable harm it can cause.

Nonetheless, the statistics around revenge porn continue to rise with a McAfee study revealing that 10 per cent of ex-partners have threatened to expose photos of their ex online, 60 per cent of which followed through with their threats.

So, what can you do to avoid becoming a victim of revenge porn?

Stay Brave UK – a charity that supports men, LGBT and non-binary people who have experienced domestic and sexual abuse – has revealed some of the best ways to help you stay safe when sharing risqué images with a partner.

Make sure your face isn’t in the photo

When it comes to deciding on a shot, keep things focused on your body and don’t be tempted by the full-frontal mirror selfie. Keeping your face out of the photo will give it some anonymity as will keeping recognisable backgrounds to a minimum.

Similarly, be aware of other identifiable details like tattoos or piercings.

Do you completely trust the recipient?

Perhaps the most obvious but also the most important advice of all, if you don’t trust the person then don’t press send. Consider if they seem trustworthy or if they have potential to use your images against you for blackmail. Not sure? Then keep them to yourself until you are.

Use secure apps

With the rise of apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat taking the lead over traditional texting, it’s important to ensure the app you’re using employs end-to-end encryption.

The great thing about Snapchat and Instagram is that they also alert you if someone screenshots, however it’s important to remember that this doesn’t stop others taking a photo of the screen on another device.

Save your nudes wisely

If you want to save your risqué images then make sure they’re stored on local devices, which are password protected and encrypted. Instead of using the cloud, keep them in a password protected folder on your phone or, even better, keep them on an external hard drive.

If you’d like to talk to someone or if you’ve been affected by someone sharing your images you can contact the Revenge Porn Helpline on 0345 6000 459.

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