On social media, specially on Facebook, it is usual to see some weird people stealing other people’s pics and put them up on their profile.

It has been in talks that a good number of Facebook users in India, mostly females often complain about getting their pics stolen and being used on different profiles.

Even after reporting those profiles, the imposter profiles reappear with another ID, and it becomes a headache for the original user to keep announcing to his or her peers it wasn’t him or her in real!

Is it hacking?

No! Stealing pics from someone’s Facebook doesn’t require the thief to be an expert, it’s as simple as you copy images from Google Image search results.

Now, if you use Facebook and post pics frequently, it becomes your need to protect your pictures there. Who knows who else is using your public pics on there Facebook!

No worries, I have Privacy settings by my side

Of course, privacy settings are always there to limit the audience to your personal stuff. But my friend, what about the profile pictures?

Facebook profile pictures are public by default without any regard to the privacy settings of your status updates. You may however tweak the DP privacy too, before or after you publish a profile picture.

Preventing the Profile pic theft

I tried to collect and list some measures to help Facebook people to improve the security of their photos. Here are some known ways to protect your Facebook profile pics and prevent them from being stolen and getting misused.

  1. Tweak the privacy

    First and foremost, you should always be considerate of your profile picture’s privacy settings. People mostly forget setting the privacy of their DP once they publish it, one of the reasons being they relate it with the status update’s privacy.

    Tweak the Privacy settings for Facebook profile pic
    To be secure on FB, the first thing you should do is to rush to the privacy settings.

    Be sure to set it up; Friends should be the basic, you could also make it Only me if you want to lock it (don’t want others to comment, like, or share your photo).

  2. Temporary profile pic

    With the Facebook Mobile app, you can make your profile photo temporary, and select when to switch back to the previous one. This one may turn out little useful as your pics won’t be available for a longer period of time.

    Still, there are some better measures to consider, follow on.

  3. Profile Picture Guard

    This is the brand new feature introduced by Facebook to prevent the profile pic theft, you may read more about it here.

    The feature is developed in partnership with Indian safety organizations like Centre for Social Research, Learning Links Foundation, Breakthrough and Youth Ki Awaaz.

    Turning the Facebook Profile Picture Guard on
    In case you are not able to spot the option, this guide is for you.

    Turning the profile pic guard on will disable the sending, sharing, tagging-in, or downloading of the profile pictures.

    After turning the guard on, the profile pic begins to show a blue line around itself with a guard icon at the bottom, giving a protected feeling to the user.

  4. Design Overlay

    Again, pic guard may turn out to be useless here, when opportunists may go for a screenshot.

    Now, this another new feature allows you to add a design pattern overlay on your profile photo. These design overlays over photos will avoid the disposal of your pixel-perfect pics in the hands of strangers.

    According to Facebook itself, there are 75% chances that your pics won’t get stolen after design overlays.

On your next upload for a profile pic, you will be prompted to use the Profile Pic Guard and Design overlay features. You can check them out right away on the iPhone and Android apps for Facebook.

At the moment, these two new features are available for users in the premises of India only.

Want to try them without updating the pic? Just click on your profile picture, and you can find the Pic Guard option right there in the options list (as shown in the images above) or follow this step-by-step guide.

Design overlay feature is not available directly on Facebook web, however it prompts users sometimes to try it out.

In hopes that you got benefited from this article, I thank you for your time and patience to read it through. Please share if you think others too should get acquainted to this piece of information.

Wish you good time!