Facebook's latest new features are designed to stop scammers from stealing your profile photos

Screenshots of Facebook's new profile photo guard in action

Screenshots of Facebook's new profile photo guard in action


This may not be a problem most people think about, but as it turns out, social media photo theft is a major issue. Whether for the purpose of creating fake profiles or using them for sketchy web advertising, your photos could easily turn up somewhere online without your knowledge or consent. To this effect, Facebook's latest feature test, right now limited to India only, is designed to stop people from misusing profile photos.

The way this works is far from simple, though: the profile picture guard is actually comprised of five separate layers of protection. Firstly, it lets people disable the download and sharing options, both in the Facebook app and in private messages. Secondly, it disables taking screenshots from Facebook's Android app, which is currently the only app supporting this functionality. Also, people not on your friends list will no longer be able to tag themselves, or anyone else, on your profile picture (the question of why this is an option in the first place remains a mystery, though.)

And lastly, a couple of "visual protections" can be enabled as well: a blue border and shield surrounding the photo, and a number of specially-crafted patterns overlaid on top of the picture. But even though neither of these protections will stop someone determined enough to steal someone else's profile photo, Facebook says such measures have reduced the likelihood of profile photo theft by 75 percent.

Also, while the current test is focusing primarily on Indian women, the company says it plans to expand the functionality to other countries in the future as well.

source: Facebook via Engadget

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7 Comments

1. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

About time! My pics have been stolen on Facebook too.

4. adi90

Posts: 554; Member since: Dec 21, 2015

Are you a girl?

2. peace247 unregistered

Haha...we pervert Indians.....half of the Indian girls on facebook are boys....I've fallen for the trap many times...lol

6. Nexus4lifes

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Well pervert gassholes like you deserve em.

3. adi90

Posts: 554; Member since: Dec 21, 2015

Oh god, now how can i create fake accounts of my girlfriends to impress my friends and colleagues.

5. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1503; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

I don't steal random photos, but none of the methods listed above would prevent me from doing so, just make it more annoying to accomplish. If they block a screenshot on Android, does that block Samsung's smart select? They can't stop someone from using a PC to take a screen shot and save the image. Anyone with photo editing skills can get around the blue border and shield nonsense. And they sure can't stop someone from viewing your photo on one screen and using a camera to photograph it.

7. lolatfailphones

Posts: 224; Member since: Apr 08, 2013

It's those scammers on Facebook with profile pictures of people from India so I guess that's why they are starting there

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