JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- How safe is your online identity?
With the attention on the girlfriend catfishing hoax surrounding Notre Dame's Manti Te'o, do you know how you can protect yourself online and see if someone has stolen your pictures?
All it takes is a simple right click and save and someone could have your pictures stored away on his or her computer.
To check if someone has used your photo, you can run a search through www.images.google.com. You upload a photo and Google will use a mathematical equation to break down the photo and find visual matches across the internet. It is not facial-recognition software nor is it fool proof, but it will give you a sense of where your photo may be surfacing on the internet.
If you find your pictures being used on a site you did not authorize what can you do? It depends on how the photo is being used.
"What is the intent behind it? Are they looking to gain something financially or are they using it as a driver's license photo to gain financially, because that is fraud," said Catherine Payne with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
In cases of fraud, you might be able to press charges.
If you find your photo being used on a social networking site, you can file a police report so that way you have something on record, but you will likely have to go through the site itself to have it taken down.
Always remember before you post, no matter how good your privacy settings are, you are giving people access to your information. The Internet never forgets.
First Coast News