How to Find Out if Someone is Using Your, or Your Child’s Images Online
In the wake of the recent news about digital kidnapping, the odd phenomenon of adults using photos of other people’s children to role play that they’re their own, it’s important that parents know what can be done to see if anyone is using your child’s photo.
Once you post a picture online, it’s hard to know where it’s going to end up. Most likely, it will be one of the millions that people scroll past on their Facebook feed everyday. Considerably less likely, it could go viral and become a meme. But somewhere in between those possibilities, is the potential for that image to be used by strangers for all the wrong reasons. Pictures of your children could end up in the hands of people with intentions that would make you cringe. There’s no telling, really. Which is why we’re giving you a quick tutorial on how to do a reverse Google image search so you can find out where your, or your children’s pictures might have gotten to beyond where they were originally posted.
- Go to google.com and click “Images.”
- In the search bar, click the camera icon.
- Either upload a picture from your computer or enter the url for a picture to search for it. (Unfortunately, you cannot do this on your phone. So if you want to check any images shared on a social app, you’ll have to log into their website.)
- Google will return every instance of that image it can find.
Ultimately, the most important thing for anyone to do is to be careful of what you post online and to always enable the privacy setting on your accounts. When you do a reverse Google image search, hopefully you will find that your, or your child’s photos, aren’t anywhere they’re not supposed to be. But Google isn’t the only company to offer this service. You can also search for specific images using Bing, TinEye, and Image Raider.
If you’d like to be proactively safe, or your business relies on your digital images being protected, you can go through the process of watermarking your photos. Although this will arguably be a change in habit for your older teens, it’s never too late to teach them. With your younger children, you’ll see how quickly they pick it up! We do have a how-to guide, that we published a few years back and remains relevant today, that you can use to watermark your images from your desktop here. Additionally, there are watermarking apps available for iOS and Android. Add Watermark Free is a simple Android solution for marking your photos with customized text.
For iOS users, eZy Watermark lite – Photo Watermarking App is another free and easy-to-use solution for watermarking photos on the go.