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HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST “REVENGE PORN”

First, to make something clear: this is NOT a guide on "How to cheat and get away with it". There are many legitimate reasons to send intimate pictures: to someone you're in a relationship with, to someone you're married to, to even close friends (eg. a girl sending pics of her posing in new lingerie to her best friend). Our digital tech makes it super easy to send them, but also super easy for them to fall into the wrong hands. Even if you trust the person you're sending them to, and believe they'll never betray that trust - even for the next couple of decades, because digital lasts forever - his/her phone could always get lost/stolen and fall into the wrong hands, or the pics copied by someone who's going through their phone and sees them. So it's important to follow certain rules that will help make sure that, even if it's your husband or fiancé the pics are meant for, they won't come back to haunt you long after you've even forgotten you sent them, and perhaps are no longer with the person even.

# Stop and think before you hit Send

Have you known this person long enough to trust them with this? Is your relationship something you can show off in public, or "underground"? Are they intimately involved with anyone else? When they get the pic or video, is there a woman in their life they will

go out of their way to hide it from? If the picture leaks will you face the same amount of embarrassment as them (true if they're your hubby or serious / significant other), or will they just "disown" you by claiming it was unsolicited, so you have to face the fallout alone (true if they're cheating/you're a side chick)? Even if you feel you can trust the person with your life, stop a minute and think about what's at stake, both for them and for you, and remember that even if THEY never post it or break your trust someone else could.

# Use a messaging app specifically for couples

These are apps specifically for communication between two people, separate from Text/Whatsapp/Viber, etc. They are usually passworded, and anything within them never gets saved on the phone / outside the app. Getting rid of everything in the app is as simple as deleting the app from your phone. One popular example is Couple, which I've linked to below for iphone and android. But you can find many more by googling "couple apps"

Couple

https://itunes.apple.com/…/couple-relationship…/id503663173…

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details…

 

# Delete, Delete, Delete

Again, even if it's the person you're married to who gets the pics and would never forward them, there are many ways that they could fall into the wrong hands. So have a delete rule, and always clear away intimate pics on both phones (and don't forget to empty trash too, and any backups made to your computer).

# Use a live video app

Things like Skype video or FaceTime fall into this category, and are especially useful for long distance relationships / marriages. Just like real life once they're done they're done, as long as you can trust the person not to take screenshots (see the first point about trust above).

# Use an expiring/auto-delete messaging service

Snapchat is the most popular, but it has been hacked before, and probably will be again just due to its size. The webpage below lists some alternatives.

https://www.yahoo.com/…/7-snapchat-alternatives-with-super-…

# Do not include faces / other identifying information

Assuming the worst happens and the pics leak, it will be much easier to not have them associated with you if your face isn't visible, or anything else that could help ID you.

# Online Papers/Blogs: Stop publishing these photos along with identifying information

The "revenge" part of revenge porn only works if the pictures are disseminated as widely as possible along with identifying information to shame the person in them. News organizations and online blogs etc can make the ethical decision here and, even when publishing the story, refuse to include any of the pictures, names of people involved or any other detail that could be used to identify them. Remember: whatever you write today about someone will always be attached to their name with just a google search.

# The Rest of Us: Let's Break the Chain

It's easy to laugh and jeer when a stranger's pics are exposed in this way, but stop for a moment and think: what if it was MY pics, or the pics of someone I care deeply about? And before you jump to "oh no that would never happen because I/these people I love would never cheat", think about all the other legitimate reasons I mentioned above for sending them. We can as a society and culture end the cycle by refusing to participate in the jeering, by sternly rejecting those who do the posting/forwarding, and by putting our collective down and saying No. Otherwise we are further contributing to something which can destroy a woman's life and self-esteem even as we move on to the next thing to laugh about.

Again: this is NOT "how to cheat and get away with it". I've seen people who respond to this problem by saying "just don't send the pics" - I don't think this is either feasible or fair, as sending intimate selfies is a legitimate thing that couples can and should be able to do, whether in a marriage or a serious relationship, so we can't just ban all uses because we disagree with some uses. So I thought I'd do some research and put a few tips together for our women (I've only ever seen female pics and videos leak - still can't figure out why - but that's another conversation). Feel free to add more in the comments, or just your general thoughts.

First, to make something clear: this is NOT a guide on "How to cheat and get away with it". There are many legitimate reasons to send intimate pictures: to someone you're in a relationship with, to someone you're married to, to even close friends (eg. a girl sending pics of her posing in new lingerie to her best friend). Our digital tech makes it super easy to send them, but also super easy for them to fall into the wrong hands. Even if you trust the person you're sending them to, and believe they'll never betray that trust - even for the next couple of decades, because digital lasts forever - his/her phone could always get lost/stolen and fall into the wrong hands, or the pics copied by someone who's going through their phone and sees them. So it's important to follow certain rules that will help make sure that, even if it's your husband or fiancé the pics are meant for, they won't come back to haunt you long after you've even forgotten you sent them, and perhaps are no longer with the person even.

# Stop and think before you hit Send

Have you known this person long enough to trust them with this? Is your relationship something you can show off in public, or "underground"? Are they intimately involved with anyone else? When they get the pic or video, is there a woman in their life they will go out of their way to hide it from? If the picture leaks will you face the same amount of embarrassment as them (true if they're your hubby or serious / significant other), or will they just "disown" you by claiming it was unsolicited, so you have to face the fallout alone (true if they're cheating/you're a side chick)? Even if you feel you can trust the person with your life, stop a minute and think about what's at stake, both for them and for you, and remember that even if THEY never post it or break your trust someone else could.

# Use a messaging app specifically for couples

These are apps specifically for communication between two people, separate from Text/Whatsapp/Viber, etc. They are usually passworded, and anything within them never gets saved on the phone / outside the app. Getting rid of everything in the app is as simple as deleting the app from your phone. One popular example is Couple, which I've linked to below for iphone and android. But you can find many more by googling "couple apps"

Couple

https://itunes.apple.com/…/couple-relationship…/id503663173…

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details…

# Delete, Delete, Delete

Again, even if it's the person you're married to who gets the pics and would never forward them, there are many ways that they could fall into the wrong hands. So have a delete rule, and always clear away intimate pics on both phones (and don't forget to empty trash too, and any backups made to your computer).

# Use a live video app

Things like Skype video or FaceTime fall into this category, and are especially useful for long distance relationships / marriages. Just like real life once they're done they're done, as long as you can trust the person not to take screenshots (see the first point about trust above).

# Use an expiring/auto-delete messaging service

Snapchat is the most popular, but it has been hacked before, and probably will be again just due to its size. The webpage below lists some alternatives.

https://www.yahoo.com/…/7-snapchat-alternatives-with-super-…

# Do not include faces / other identifying information

Assuming the worst happens and the pics leak, it will be much easier to not have them associated with you if your face isn't visible, or anything else that could help ID you.

# Online Papers/Blogs: Stop publishing these photos along with identifying information

The "revenge" part of revenge porn only works if the pictures are disseminated as widely as possible along with identifying information to shame the person in them. News organizations and online blogs etc can make the ethical decision here and, even when publishing the story, refuse to include any of the pictures, names of people involved or any other detail that could be used to identify them. Remember: whatever you write today about someone will always be attached to their name with just a google search.

# The Rest of Us: Let's Break the Chain

It's easy to laugh and jeer when a stranger's pics are exposed in this way, but stop for a moment and think: what if it was MY pics, or the pics of someone I care deeply about? And before you jump to "oh no that would never happen because I/these people I love would never cheat", think about all the other legitimate reasons I mentioned above for sending them. We can as a society and culture end the cycle by refusing to participate in the jeering, by sternly rejecting those who do the posting/forwarding, and by putting our collective down and saying No. Otherwise we are further contributing to something which can destroy a woman's life and self-esteem even as we move on to the next thing to laugh about.

Again: this is NOT "how to cheat and get away with it". I've seen people who respond to this problem by saying "just don't send the pics" - I don't think this is either feasible or fair, as sending intimate selfies is a legitimate thing that couples can and should be able to do, whether in a marriage or a serious relationship, so we can't just ban all uses because we disagree with some uses. So I thought I'd do some research and put a few tips together for our women (I've only ever seen female pics and videos leak - still can't figure out why - but that's another conversation). Feel free to add more in the comments, or just your general thoughts.

By Amran Gaye

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