First of all, it’s important to remember that the minute you upload a picture to the internet – be that via a general messaging app or on any social media platform, it’s no longer private. In some cases, even if you remove the image from, say, your wall, it’s still logged on the internet. Simply searching your name will often reveal a whole lot that you didn’t expect to see – regardless of how common your name is. I promise, Google your name. You’ll be shocked that in the results will show up pictures you totally forgot existed that were first places on Facebook, Instagram, etc. It might even include pictures of people related to you or otherwise friends with you on Facebook, which is creepy as well. So my suggestion is to stick to apps like Telegram or Snapchat because they allow for private and encrypted sharing of messages and images. With Snapchat, your messages disappear forever after being sent and viewed and they generally expire after 30 days. And that’s it – you don’t have to worry about them being spread or copied without your permission and it makes it a real challenge to screenshot images – so you can be ensured that your messages will be private all the time. And if anyone does take a screenshot of any picture, video or message that you send in the app, you will instantly get a notification letting you know. Not ideal, but at least you’ll know what people are doing with the material that you put out there. Telegram offers a similar feature except that your messages are also heavily encrypted and you have the option of setting a self-destruct timer on your messages.
This allows you to send messages knowing that you can always delete the thread forever. Once you decide to delete the thread, it’s completely removed on either side so the person you’re sending them too can’t access the thread again. However, this app still allows for screen shots, so you’ll have to simply trust whoever you’re sending the messages or selfies to to respect your desire for privacy. Facebook Messenger also recently rolled out a new feature, the ability to send messages which eras after a set amount of time. It’s in a different thread than the regular ones you would use to message friends, but it’s still cool. My general rule of thumb is to just be conscious of which photos you allow online. Try and limit the amount of selfies you post and if you are posting selfies, make sure that it’s on a platform that at least allows you the ability to screen who gets to view your profile or not (think privacy settings on Facebook here). And try to be aware of what’s in the background too. For instance, if you post sensitive information like unintentionally revealing where you keep cash in your house, you’re putting that out there for countless others to see.
Please don’t look at the rest of this blog.