Every day, DMCA.com's professional staff handle takedown requests for clients who have found their personal and very intimate pictures or videos published online for all to see. Their stories and situations are heartbreaking. Almost always their reputation has been severely impacted by the online publication of these deeply personal photos or videos. While we cannot stop what has already happened, we want to stop this tragic situation from happening to you, your family or friends.
Shockingly, in most cases, these very intimate, personal pictures or videos were found online by family, friends or even coworkers. To make matters worse, often the photos or videos were taken years earlier, long forgotten and long before a current marriage, relationship or employment.
In the age of powerful internet search engines and social networking it is too easy for anyone (spouse, boss, clients, co-workers, parents etc.) to connect your name to recently published, intimate pictures or videos that have been uploaded onto the internet.
If you need our help, click here for DMCA.com's Professional Takedown Service
DMCA.com Fast Tip
Although wrongful publication of personal pictures happens to both men and women, the largest portion of the personal content takedown requests we see are women and teenage girls. Read DMCA's Social Media Survival Guide
What to do if Someone Threatens to Leak Pictures
Set up DMCA.com Monitoring in Case your Content gets Published
By using DMCA.com's Content Monitoring service, you can keep track of your online content and receive notifications if any unauthorized use is detected. To begin, simply sign up and follow the instructions. This will help you stay on top of any potential copyright violations or unauthorized use of your content.
Tips to Avoid Compromising Photos of you Being Published Online
Trust your instincts
If something doesn't feel right, don't take the photo, and don't share it if you're uncomfortable with it.
Communicate clearly with friends and romantic partners about what you're comfortable with and what you're not. Respect each other's boundaries.
Keep private photos private
Store private photos in a password-protected folder, and avoid keeping them on cloud storage or social media accounts.
Be cautious with social media
Be mindful of what you post on social media, and keep your personal information private.
Think before you share
Before sharing a photo, consider the potential consequences of it being shared beyond your intended audience.
Use secure messaging apps
Use secure messaging apps with end-to-end encryption to communicate sensitive information and photos.
Use strong passwords
Use strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts, and enable two-factor authentication for added security.
Check privacy settings
Review the privacy settings on all your social media accounts and devices, and adjust them to limit who can see your photos.
Stay informed about the latest online security threats and best practices for online safety.
Seek help if needed
If you do become a victim of online harassment or have compromising photos published without your consent, seek help and support from friends, family, or professional resources. Remember, it is never your fault, and you have the right to protect your privacy and safety.
Educate your Children
Parents, guardians, uncles, aunts, and grandparents - talk to your children, teens, and pre-teens about the dangers of taking these types of pictures. What they see as innocent play can quickly be turned into something undesirable and often with tragic consequences. An innocent picture of "mom" can make it online all too easily. No images or videos of your children or their friends in ANY state of undress, even jokingly, is unacceptable.
How soon should you speak to your children about this?
Now. As soon as they have or have access to a camera, a phone with a camera, or a webcam. Or when they begin to play with your phone.
I want to thank DMCA (.com) so much for helping me with my case. There were adult related videos and pictures on a website, of me, which caused me serious hardships including the loss of my job and major relationship repair with family members and friends. I felt like I had to explain the situation 1,000 times and my world was crashing. I never heard of DMCA (.com) until I spoke with a lawyer who specializes in internet related cases. He told me my best bet is to start with contacting the sites first and tell them to take any pictures or videos of me down. If they ignore me or tell me to "go pound sand", then call DMCA (.com). I don't know what DMCA (.com) said to them but everything was down immediately. Now I'm surfing the internet to see if there are any other sites with the photos. If there are, I'm calling DMCA (.com) RIGHT AWAY!! DMCA stopped the bleeding and I can't thank them enough. My heroes!
What to do when your compromising pictures are published online?
Discovering that your compromising pictures have been published online can be an overwhelming and distressing experience. Here are some steps you can take:
Take some deep breaths, and try to stay calm. It's important to approach the situation thoughtfully and strategically.
Take screenshots of the images or videos, including any comments or messages associated with them. This will be important evidence if you choose to report the situation. Find as many copies and versions as you can, often it will be cropped or altered in some way so often you can identify it the quickest.
Do not send money or a picture of your ID to hosting companies or website owners in order to get your content removed. If you must pay to have your content taken offline it is extortion or a bribe under most laws. If you must pay or follow some other bizarre process to have your content taken offline, do so with a lawyer, inform the police and, where possible, have an internet specialist with you.
Report the content
If the content was posted on a social media platform or website, report it. DMCA.com can help with this process, to get started submit the form for the Professional Takedown Service. Often only one website was the source of the uploaded picture or video. It is important to get it removed from there and move on to the other sites, if there are any. The longer the content has been up the more likely it has spread to other networks and websites.
Seek support from the authorities
Contact the police - especially if:
- You or the person in the picture or video were underage.
- The perpetrator of this crime is known to you, and you never gave permission for the pictures to be shared.
Note: Often the authorities can help with the perpetrators of the crime but are unable to act if the photos/videos have been uploaded to servers located outside their legal jurisdiction. Be prepared to deal with getting your pictures/videos taken down as a separate issue.
Protect your privacy
Take steps to protect your online privacy, such as updating your privacy settings on social media, using strong passwords, and limiting the amount of personal information you share online.
Prioritize your well-being
Reach out to trusted friends or family members for emotional support. Consider speaking with a therapist or counselor who can help you cope with the stress and trauma of the situation. Remember that your mental health and well-being are the most important things. Take time to rest, practice self-care, and seek professional support if needed. You are not alone, and there are resources available to help you through this difficult time.
Consider legal action
If the content was posted without your consent, you may have legal options to have it removed and to pursue damages. Consider speaking with an attorney who specializes in internet privacy and revenge porn cases.
DMCA.com Can Help
DMCA.com can help you begin processing takedowns immediately! You can use a service like DMCA.com's Professional Takedown Service, or conduct takedowns yourself using DMCA.com's Protection Pro. Regardless of the method you use, the quicker the better. Processing takedowns can also help any legal action you have started or will start later. If you choose to conduct the process yourself here are a few important tips:
- Follow the (DMCA) Takedown process of website where you have found the pictures or video exactly, if the website has its own policy follow that.
- Do not be emotional in your description or request for removal.
- Do not tell a story or give background or incident details.
- Clearly the state facts related to the photo or picture usage; it's your picture, or you are in the picture and you did not give permission for it to be used in this manner, or you own the copyright.
If you have questions about your situation, we can help. Submit your takedown questions here: www.dmca.com/question. Be as detailed as possible. Include as many links as possible. Include complete details on content ownership and source.
Related DMCA Takedown FAQ's
- What is DMCA
- What is DMCA Protection
- What are DMCA Takedowns
- What is DMCA.com
- What is Monitoring and Research