Internet Security

Life-Wrecking Deepfakes: You’re an Easy Target if You Upload Photos Online


Deepfakes have been invading the web for a few years. But recently, they mostly embarrassed stars or politicians. And that only can mean one thing – anyone can be the target of a deepfake. This is why you should be very careful about sharing photos or videos online or, at least, protect yourself by following a few rules.

What is a Deepfake?

A deepfake is a technology that creates fake videos or photos using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Deepfakes are often used to imitate someone else’s appearance and voice, which can be used for malicious purposes. They can be used to create videos of people saying or doing things they have never said or done or to replace one person’s face in a video with another’s. Deepfakes are easy to create and spread, which can pose privacy and misinformation issues.

Why Sharing Photos Online Can Be Dangerous?

Sharing photos online can be dangerous for several reasons. First, once you post a photo online, you lose control of it. It can be shared and broadcast to many people, including strangers. Plus, it’s easy for someone to upload your photo and use it to create a deepfake. This can be particularly problematic if the photo used is embarrassing or compromising.

Another problem with sharing photos online is that they can be used for harassment or defamation. If someone uses your photo to create a deepfake to discredit you or harm you in any way, it can have serious consequences on your personal and professional life.

Nowadays, it is very easy to transform a photo of you at the beach in a bikini into a significantly compromising nude photo. Some photos can also be used to create false identity documents or to trick facial recognition software. Finally, a video of you can easily be hijacked to make you say compromising or objectionable comments or appear in an obscene video.

It is also important to mention that deepfakes are not only used to destroy people’s privacy. They can also be used for misinformation and manipulation purposes. For example, a high-quality deepfake could be used to trick someone into believing that a political leader did or said something controversial, which could have significant consequences for public opinion and elections.

How To Protect Against This Phenomenon?

To protect yourself against deepfakes and unauthorized sharing of your photos online, here are some steps you can take:

  • Don’t post photos of yourself on social media or other online sharing sites if you’re uncomfortable with them being seen by many people.
  • Don’t post pictures of yourself in compromising or embarrassing situations.
  • Use privacy tools on social media and other photo-sharing sites to control who can see your photos.
  • Try to use a VPN for your PC or mobile phone, especially when you’re on public Wi-Fi or sharing files (photos or else) through unsecured websites. The elements you transmit via your connection are then encrypted, making them unreadable for people who could divert them.
  • Use image editing software to hide or remove any element of your photo that could be misused.
  • Be vigilant when receiving friend requests or following accounts you don’t know. These could be spoofed accounts created to grab your photos and use them for evil purposes.
  • Ultimately, it’s important to think twice before sharing photos of yourself online. While it may seem fun and harmless at the time, it’s crucial to protect your privacy and security online. Remember that once a photo is posted online, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to remove.