How to find out if someone is using your photos.
All photographs can be copied and used by someone easily. While this is hard to stop, here are a few things you can do to make it easier to tell if someone is using your photo.
Do you know what catfishing is? This is a technique used in the world of flirting to deceive another person by behaving like what you are not.
It is usually accompanied by a fake profile picture and overly forced conversations in which you have the feeling that "something doesn't fit."
It cannot be considered phishing as such, but yes, if the person in the photo is too attractive to be true, don't be surprised if in the end what seemed like a university student from Murcia ends up being a retired man from Ohio with a lot of free time and very few scruples. This was just an example.
If you have the feeling that someone is using one of your photos for their stalkerian love scams, or that they are stealing your identity online by impersonating you directly, but you have no proof, read on because this may interest you.
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How to know if someone else is using your photo online
The best way to check if someone is taking advantage of our photos without our consent is to do a reverse image search.
Typically catfishers and identity thieves often turn to photos uploaded by other users to social networks, so this is the first place we should start investigating.
To do this, take some of your most representative photos, such as your profile photo or some image of yourself that has become very popular or has many likes.
Then enter the Google Images search engine. You can do it by accessing Google and clicking on the text located in the upper right margin of the browser that says "Images" or Go to https://images.google.com/
From here, click on the camera icon and upload the photo you want to analyze. If you are accessing from a mobile phone you will see that Google Images is not compatible.
To solve it, enter the page reverse.photos, a pass that allows you to use Google Images from your mobile.
Note: If your photo is uploaded online, you can also make a long press with your mobile, and select "Search with Google Lens". The result will be the same.
Once the image is loaded in the Google search engine, it will return several data:
- The size of the image.
- It will also tell us if there are other versions of that image in different sizes.
- Possible related search: Most likely text query for that image (here it tells us what people type when they search for the image in Google).
- List of similar images.
- The rest are websites where we can find the same image.
With these data on the table, we can know if our selfie or photo in question is being used on a website that we do not know or if someone is using it for their own interest in a false profile.
You can also use TinEye to find unauthorized copies of your photo
Personally, to do this type of search I prefer to use TinEye, a very similar tool that allows us to see at a stroke the times that the image appears on the Internet, as well as discover the chronological history of the image.
Thanks to this, if we have our own photo that we uploaded to the Internet 5 years ago and we see that there are copies of a couple of years ago, we can know how long they have been using that photo without our permission, as well as the website on which it is hosted.
Use Yandex for a more detailed search
The downside of using tools such as the Google image search engine or TinEye is that they only take into account the exact copies of that image (with all the variations in size and cropping they may have).
This means that we will have to do an individual search for each of the images that we want to analyze. A rather long and heavy process if we have many photos in the chamber.
A good alternative can be to use the Yandex image search engine.
Unlike Google, Yandex performs "facial searches", dividing the photograph into segments or "visual phrases".
In this way, it compares millions of images and shows us the results that contain a greater number of similar "visual phrases". What does this mean exactly?
In this way, what we will obtain will be a list of images where we appear, either in the same photograph or not, as well as images of other people who physically resemble us.
Something that can help us to find our double or that lost twin from which we were separated at birth, but also to discover if there are other copies, clones or profiles using our personal image on the Internet.
What can I do if my image has been stolen?
Chances are, after doing such a search you won't find anything. But if unfortunately, you are unlucky enough to be the victim of such an attack you should act immediately.
It is important that you insist until the image is withdrawn from circulation. Here are some actions you can take:
- Report it to the social network where the image is hosted: If you see that someone is using your photo in an account that is not yours in a social network like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, you should report it as soon as possible. All of these platforms offer the option of reporting IP infringement or identity theft. On Facebook, for example, if you open a photo or publication you will see that by clicking on the 3-dot button that appears in the upper right margin, an option appears that says " Get help or report a publication ".
- Talk to the website: If a website is using a private photo of you without your permission, you can contact them to ask to be credited as the author or to remove the image. Unless they are acting in bad faith and on purpose, in most cases they will have no problem serving your request. If they ignore or reject your legitimate request, report the website to Google.
- Go to the police and file a complaint: Reporting to the police is the last option, of course. It would be strange if you came to this situation, but if you are facing an online predator or someone who is using your face and your image to commit a crime, do not hesitate to go to the authorities.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to protect the data that we voluntarily share on the Internet.
You can always hide your profiles on social networks by marking them as private or add a watermark to the photos to make them more recognizable.
However, and especially if you work in the world of fashion or photography, doing a reverse search of your most relevant images from time to time can help you keep at bay all those people who try to take advantage of your image on the Internet.
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