Monday, 28 May 2012

Beware if posting photos that are not your own

Pinterest is hugely popular - but be careful what you pin

Blogging might sometimes seem like a solitary activity, but of course it's not - in that you are part of the blogosphere, and also part of the wider social web.

Whatever social tools you use or communities you belong to, you are bound to come up against the inevitable nasty from time to time: trolls, viruses, spam, bots and other malicious stuff.

No need to panic though - on the web, as in life, MOST people aren't out to get you - however much it might seem like that when you're hit by something bad! The answer is to keep your cool and use common sense precautions.

Today I came across this article in Business Week about how spammers have moved out of email and are invading the social web.  It seems that people are unwittingly downloading viruses or falling prey to spammers by clicking on 'like' buttons or following links.

This came just as I was talking to a client about how one of his computers had been 'fatally' infected after clicking on a spammy image on a Pinterest page.

As regards images, this is something to be careful of - if you link to an image on the web from your blog or Pinterest page or whatever, just be aware that you're putting yourself and your readers at risk. I've been on the bad end of this with another blog, and it's not pretty.

Wherever possible, use your own images or those where you know the provenance, for example from a site selling royalty-free images, such as Dreamstime or iStockphoto. If you see a photo you like on a photo-sharing community such as Flickr, be sure to check with the photographer (who is the copyright owner) whether you can use it or not, and if so, make sure you give it the proper attribution.

No comments:

Post a Comment