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What is Digital Kidnapping? — 10 Comments

  1. Indeed Digital kidnapping sounds horrible and it’s a crime that should be stopped. I’ve been hearing stories about it but haven’t seen in such a perspective as you have described it in this article. 

    It’s in human to create a profile using a stranger’s or a relative’s child photos without their consent and solicit money. My friend’s Facebook account was hacked recently and his photos were used to collect funds from well wishers who thought he was in real danger. 

    According to your research, if someone is caught with such a violation of human rights, can you recommend the case to be reported to the police and what does the international law say about it? 

    • Hi Pmbaluka,

      It is a concern and people need to be aware. A little common sense helps a lot. Keep photos private. It is the world we live in today. I agree with you, it should never happen. I hope they caught the lowlife’s and the money was returned!

      With the problems that Facebook has faced lately, I would call them or any other social site first. They are going to do something about it, because of the COPPA law and more privacy options have been added. If something has occurred breaking any laws, i would not hesitate to notify police, no matter where you are.

      The laws in Europe are more strict than U.S. law about the internet. In most cases if you use property that does not belong to you to make money, it is a criminal act and you can be sued. If you use an image/property of others and make claims it is yours, or use it in a manner that is considered a breech of privacy, you can also be sued.

      The laws are there, but not everyone has the resources to just take people to court. i hope that helps?

      Thanks for the great questions,

      Chas

  2. As a grandmother raising her grandchild, I was so happy to come across your site. Most of the time, I never think twice about posting photos of my grandchild on places like Facebook. After reading your article, I am going to exercise a lot more caution if and when doing so. What is wrong with people?! I know you kind of answered the question, but even so…grrr… it just makes me mad that our kids and grandkids have to suffer!

    I had a very good friend who was scammed by a guy who was using a fake identity. She lost over $22,000 to the creep! They met on a dating site.

    I’m sharing your site with my friends!

    • Hi Karen,

      Thanks for the kind words and sharing my site, it is appreciated! Yes is it not a good idea to post pictures! Google says, if you keep it private, nobody but your friends and family sees them But what if they share it ? 

      it’s better not to do that, I know everybody does it! And you know first hand that there are bad guys out there.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing!

      Chas

  3. It’s really a strange phenomena, hijacking someones image. 

    I just did a check and looked at what Google says if we check the pics in search. Nothing really.

    It would help if we could see the original source of an image in Google search.

    Having to watermark every pic we post in sozial media is in my opinion not realistic, too much work and can not be done spontaneously.

    One should make these social sites make the pics personalized, registered under whom posted them originally.

    Thanks for the reminder anyway 🙂

    • Hi Stefan,

      I am as amazed as you that people do this. Unfortunately it happens. From what I know about this, it is mostly from shared photos. We only get into trouble, when we share the photos. Because this makes them “public”. If we keep them private, then “suppossedly” they stay private. You can hide photos in google photos by using the “Archives” feature. it will remove photos from your main photo album.

      It sounds like that is a much better alternative, than public display!

      The only real problem is personal identification of kids mainly. They are the most vulnerable to being exploited. As adults we have the responsibility to protect them.

      That is a good idea about registering pics. They should also have some type of feature that doesn’t allow display without prior authorization.

      Great comments Stefan! 

      Chas

  4. Oh my gosh, this is so frightening. I’ve been very selective about the photos I post of my baby girl online, but I’ll be even more selective now. I’ve heard of the porn thing. More so in the realm of when parents share naked baby photos. To parents, those are adorable pics. To people involved in child pornography, those photos take a much more sinister meaning. I only share intimate photos of my baby with close family. 

    Thanks for these app links. I have one but it only comes with so many free credits before requiring purchases.

    • Hi Nicole,

      It is scary! It is more about using common sense to prevent problems. Keep photos of kids private! I would even hesitate with those vacation pictures as well. 

      Here is a site that offers free watermarking. http://www.watermark.ws  it is free for “one at a time” pictures, or first 15 seconds of video. if you have a bunch or want more, cost $4.17(presently) a month. Not bad if you are watermarking a lot of photos or video’s 

      Thanks for stopping by with your great comments,

      Chas

  5. Great reminders around picture safety. I worry about posting pictures of my kids on my site, but my site is baby related so it feels disingenuous if I don’t. I have never thought of using a watermark before, that’s brilliant! I’m definitely going to start doing that for my personal photos. Do you know if it’s possible that these digital kidnappers could photoshop the watermark out?

    • Hi Holly,

      Thank you for your kind words. Generally, I don’t do it. The watermark will help, but it is not foolproof. The average person will be deterred. However, to answer your great question, unfortunately, it is possible to remove the watermarks with Photoshop. I am not an expert, but doing that requires some time and most people wouldn’t bother. But the digital kidnappers just might!

      I say, just to be safe, don’t post your kids photos in any way, they can be used by the bad guys. Kids wearing costumes, things like that are better alternatives. 

      Having a site about kids, I would say, try using generic photos or child models, and public photo’s? Just my thoughts. It is a different world today!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Chas

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