Pakistan to Introduce Guard Feature For Facebook Profile Pics

Protecting users online identity

Facebook Introduces Profile Pic Guard In Pakistan

What could be worse than discovering that your Facebook profile picture has been copied without your consent, and is being used elsewhere, for purposes that may be nefarious? It’s a very real possibility, and something that happens a great deal more than some might assume. Not only is the prospect an embarrassing one, but it is also a catalyst for cybercrime, identity theft and scams. Con artists are well known for their ability to assume other identities, and having access to a wealth of profile pictures on Facebook has made it even easier for them to swap their own faces for someone else’s.

In order to combat this problem, a new Facebook security feature has been introduced in India, and is now also available in Pakistan. The security feature is a simple but essential one, prohibiting the downloading or copying of a Facebook profile picture. The feature is being applauded by many as an essential one, but many questions are being raised as to how it works, why it was not implemented sooner and why it is not being rolled out globally as yet.

How Will It Work?

The new security feature operates exactly as would be expected. A person simply has to turn on the feature, and copying and downloading of their profile picture will be impossible. This will apply not only to viewers outside the user’s friend’s list, but will also have an option to limit copying inside the social circle. In other words; the profile picture will be locked to the profile it was intended for.

It should be noted that this feature will not be so easily bypassed.  Many modern phones allow screenshots to be taken of anything being displayed on the screen, a handy feature, many will agree. But when used by cybercriminals, this feature can be a curse. The new security feature will prohibit even screenshot taking technology.

Additionally, the security feature will also prevent anyone from outside the person’s social circle making tags on a profile picture. Although it should be noted, that if activated, the person will not even be able to tag themselves, should they be present in the image. Although seeming to be a double-edged sword, the level of protection aims to help avoid potential harassment.

Lockdown on Facebook profile images

Protecting The Vulnerable

The questions are now raised as to just how vulnerable Facebook profile photos are, and who the most affected were by profile picture stealing. In a statement made by Nighat Dad, of the Digital Rights Foundation, it was revealed that the most vulnerable on Facebook, as far as profile pictures go, are women.

From harassment, to fake profiles created with stolen images, to image doctoring, women are the most targeted, and face very real risk when choosing to post images of themselves online. The new security feature, Nighat Dad declared, would be very welcome.

Some are raising the question, however, as to why the security feature has taken so long to be implemented, and why it was not rolled out sooner, given the obvious vulnerability of Facebook images. Answers to this question have not been forthcoming, other than to say that Facebook comes with security options that avoid profiles being public at all.

Rolling Out Globally

The new security feature is already available in Pakistan, and can be activated if a user chooses to do so. Preliminary results show that the security feature has been, up until this point, a success. Reports already indicate that those using the security feature are satisfied.

With the new security feature a success in Pakistan, there is no question that the new feature will soon be available across the world. There is no word yet as to when the security feature will be available in which country, but there is little doubt that it will eventually be available globally.

Will It Be Uncrackable?

The new security features will clearly help a great deal, and go a long way to avoiding cybercrime. But will this new security feature really be uncrackable? The question has already been raised, and the answer to the question is not a surprising one; the feature will not be foolproof.

Given the levels of technology available on modern computers, capturing a locked profile image will be possible, if certain advanced programs and technology are used. However, in comparison to previously, the images will still be a great deal more secure than they previously were.


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