Ever wondered how to practice safe sex online? Well, this blog will be the first of many that can help you learn how to be safer both online and offline in terms of sex, privacy and consent.
Before you send any photos, make sure you establish consent with the other person(s) about sending each other intimate images of each other, consent should not be forced or coerced and if it's revoked by yourself or the other person(s), it should be respected, no matter what. Once consent has been established, you need to make sure that you specifically state that you do not give consent for the photos/videos to be shared online or with anyone else and is strictly for their eyes only. An example of what this statement could be is:
The statement doesn't have to be as formal as the one above, but make sure you convey the fact you don't want these images shared with anyone else and don't want them screenshotted or saved. Make sure you screenshot the statement and their response, this can be used as evidence that you absolutely did not agree for any images of yourself to be posted/shared incase the other person(s) abuse your trust or try to use the images against you.
So, you've all agreed to send nudes to each other and that you won't share any of these images, you can get to the 'nitty gritty' part, what you can do to further protect yourself and identify those who have shared your images, is by watermarking your nudes.
When you're watermarking your nudes, you should put the other person(s) tag or name in the watermark, and place it in an area of the photo that they can't crop it out or try and photoshop out without distorting what you're trying to show off. The smaller and more hidden the watermark is, the more likely the watermark won't be tampered with - however, you can just put a watermark of any size and colour over your image, having a watermark is better than having no watermark.
Worried that if your nudes were to be shared, that someone could identify that it's you? Well, there's a few things you can do to prevent people recognising you, if the worst does happen.
Hiding your face is the easiest way to hide your identity, all you need to do is either hold the camera so that it's angled to your body, or crop the image/video so that they can't see your face, it's literally as simple as that - or you can wear a mask, if that's your kinda thing?
If you have any identifying tattoos/birthmarks/scars/etc that can be used to identify you, why not try using lingerie or other pieces of clothing to cover them subtly? If it's not practical to use clothes to cover them, another alternative is makeup, such as concealer or a heavy foundation, such as Revolution Beauty's Concealer and Foundation sticks which have great coverage, are pretty cheap and easy to pick up from anywhere that sells makeup.
But putting makeup on every time you go to send a picture can be a hassle or you might not have it handy, what you can do instead is use stickers or the pen feature to hide them, it's not foolproof and can make it obvious that you're covering something, but it's effective and does the job! If you're super dedicated to the cause, you can always just edit them out using a photoshop software like FaceTune, which allows you to easily and quickly edit the picture to hide anything you need to.
This is the very first blog post, however, there was so much content for this, I've made a new blog post for this! But I'll still put a very condensed version of it here incase you don't have time to read another blog post!
Signal is a really great app as it's encrypted and considered fairly secure, you can also set messages to be deleted after a certain amount of time when they've been opened. However, it won't tell you if these images have been screenshotted and you would need to use another app to watermark and hide any features on the picture you are going to send. You also need to use your phone number - which if you're not really wanting your number to be out there - you might want to think about the other apps available.
There's another alternative app, called 'Privates!' which is a bit like Snapchat but revolves a lot more around secure image sharing. It's got all the same features such as time till the image disappears and if they've screenshotted, however privates! has additional security features such as motion detectors and requiring two fingers on the screen at a time which means things like screenshotting, screenrecording and using a diffrent device to take a photo are a bit harder to do, but not impossible. You can also recall messages if they haven't been viewed yet, so if you do change your mind, you can delete the photos with ease.
Snapchat is an option, as it has disappearing images and videos and will tell you if an image/video has been screenshotted, however the screenshot alert can be bypassed fairly easily and you can't recall any messages that have been sent - which if you've accidentally sent to the wrong person can be pretty embarrasing, let alone dangerous.
Well, to be on the safe side - probably not. Sorry. Some tips that @NathOnSecurity had to say were:
- "Delete any pictures you've taken on your phone." You don't want your granny seeing them accidentally while your showing her your cute cat pictures, or someone that's stolen your phone sharing them online. Do the safe thing and delete them, then delete them from your recently deleted for good measure.- "Device Encryption." This really just means that your device is going to be difficult to get in to if you somehow lose your device or it's stolen. Most of the time, all you need is a passcode and the device is encrypted in the case of iPhones, android devices require you to toggle encryption on the device, Mac has 'FileVault' and Windows has BitLocker. If you're someone that's using a Unix system, you might want to have a quick google and see what encryption options are available for your OS.
- "Cloud Storage" Simply put, make sure that any pictures you are taking aren't being automatically uploaded to the cloud and if you're trusting the other person enough that you're allowing them to save them, make sure they aren't letting them be uploaded to the cloud too. Looking at you iCloud and Google Drive...
If the worst happens and someone leaks or shares your nudes without your consent, here's what you should do.
This list is for UK based websites and helplines, I'll begin to add more websites and helplines soon!