The impact of image exploitation on a person can be very significant and can be influenced by their willingness to communicate and confide in others, their sense of helplessness, the perceived impacts to them and others, and the seriousness others take in assisting with their response. 

Detecting Image Exploitation 

The process of detecting if an image has been exploited can at times be quite difficult. Reverse Images search programs (e.g. tineye.com) can be used to search the web for duplications of an image. Other instances of image exploitation can be more direct, particularly if a perpetrator engages direct with an individual with a view to leveraging their situation for some form of ransom or other benefit. 

Something to be mindful of: 

Online data storage services are targeted by criminals and compromises are a common occurrence. Eg. Dropbox experienced a breach in 2016 resulting in thousands of user’s accounts and photographs made public to hackers. 

Preventing Image Exploitation 

Here’s a number of practical measures to consider in reducing the risk of image exploitation: 

  •  When sharing sensitive images, be certain that the individual or site you are sharing them with/on is one that you trust and is verified. 
  • When engaging with online services (e.g. Facebook) minimise the type of sensitive materials you share – assume scammers will be watching. 
  • Do not store sensitive images on open/ low security devices or software – IDCARE recommends keeping all sensitive information on an external hard drive that is not connected to the internet when not in use. 
  • Be future minded – ask whether an image could be exploited at some future point. 

Responding to Image Exploitation 
  • ‍Report: Companies (e.g. Facebook) will may remove content which has been posted online for you if you request it. 
  • Store Evidence: Preserve any information which is related to your content being posted online. 
  • Remove: There are services available which serve to remove online content from the internet for a fee (e.g. dcma.com). 
  • Legal Action: It may be possible to take legal action against those who publish an individual’s intimate photographs without consent. Report to police and if you suspect this involves an exploitation of a child’s image contact the eSafety Commissioner (esafety.gov.au). 
  • Seek Help: Seek counselling/support by calling IDCARE

Social Media Security 

IDCARE have a number of Social Media Security Fact Sheets to help you detect, prevent and respond to problems you may have. Please see the below Fact sheets on; 

download fact sheet
Disclaimer

Identity Care Australia & New Zealand Ltd (IDCARE) provides identity and cyber security incident response services (the Services) in accordance with the following disclaimer of service:

IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber incident community support service. We are a not-for-profit charity.

  • The Services provide do not constitute legal advice. IDCARE recommends that you consult a solicitor in relation to your legal rights and obligations, including but not limited to your legal rights or obligations under Australian and international privacy and data protection laws.
  • While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this product or service, to the maximum extent permitted by law all conditions, terms, representations, and warranties (in each case, whether express or implied) in connection with the provision of the Services which might otherwise be binding upon IDCARE are excluded.
  • IDCARE’S liability for any loss or damage suffered by any person or organisation (including, without limitation, any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage) arising out of or in connection with the Services (including without limitation liability for any negligent act or omission, or statement, representation or misrepresentation of any officers, employees, agents, contractors or consultants of IDCARE) shall be limited to the fees paid by you to IDCARE in respect of the Services. For the avoidance of doubt, this limitation of liability extends to any liability arising from any actions performed or not performed as a result of any recommendations made in course of providing the Services.
  • The Services provided by IDCARE are intended to be provided solely to the initial recipient of this document or service and IDCARE will not be liable to any other person who may receive this document.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this alert, IDCARE disclaims any liability to any person in respect to any actions performed or not performed as a result of the contents of the alert or any accompanying data provided. Wider dissemination may be permitted by authority in writing from IDCARE’s Managing Director. If you would like to provide feedback please use our Feedback Form.

Other fact sheets

Our Fact Sheets offer important information on how to prepare, prevent, detect and respond to Identity theft and other cyber related issues.
Physical Theft of Credentials

Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves the theft of someone’s personal information.

view fact sheet
Credit Reports - New Zealand

A credit report is a point in time snapshot of what credit related transactions you have made.

view fact sheet
Knowing your privacy rights

We all have rights in relation to the protection of personal information.

view fact sheet

Success Stories!

CONTACT US

IDCARE is here to provide you with specialist support and guidance when faced with a cyber and identity related issue. Contact one of our Identity & Cyber Security Counsellors to learn more about our Support Services and how we can help you.   
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