We all know that the Internet can be a dangerous place for personal information. That doesn’t change when you start sexting. Sending sexy selfies can really spice up those exchanges. But, it’s a particularly risky move because they’re so extremely personal. This can put you in a very vulnerable position if they make it out in the world. If you’re worried about the potential repercussions of sexting, there are things you can do to make sure that it doesn’t come back to bite you.
Never Post Publicly
This one simple thing is ultimately the most crucial part of keeping your selfies out of the wrong hands. Avoid sexting on sites that leave your conversations and photos out in the open for anyone to find unless you are truly okay with literally anyone having access to them; doing this means you’ve probably lost all control over where they end up. Semi-public areas, like a dedicated forum with its access permissions set to invite-only, are a safer option, and private one-on-one communications through things like instant messengers or even SMS are even better.
Use An Alias
It seems obvious, but it bears repeating – never attach your real name to casual sexting exchanges, especially when pictures are involved. It’s one thing if you know the person you’re contacting very well, but in any other case, you’ve just given a total stranger some powerful leverage over you. Speaking of which…
Get Some Collateral
Make sure that you don’t give anything out without getting something equivalent or close to it in return. Not only will this give you more material to enjoy, but it gives you some insurance against whatever images or text you send being used for nefarious purposes. If they threaten to go public with your nude selfies, all you have to do is remind them that you have some of theirs as well. They may not care either way, but it only makes sense to cover your bases if you can.
Alter Your Photo Files to Make Them Truly Anonymous
You might think that simply removing your face from a photo makes it impossible to trace back to you, but given sufficient technological know-how, anyone can trace the origin of your selfie right back to you. It just so happens that every photo you take is tagged with something called EXIF data, which stores sensitive information like the time and location at which it was taken. Luckily, knowing it exists is half the battle in this case, and it’s very easy to remove even if you’re a technological amateur. Consult a guide like this one and give yourself an added layer of protection.
None of these tips will completely guarantee that you won’t end up with a creepy stalker with a hard drive full of nudes of you. That’s just not a realistic thing to promise in the modern world, unfortunately. They will, however, let you rest safe in the knowledge that you did everything you could to keep that from happening. And, the peace of mind that can give you is well worth the extra effort.