Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Millions of people have facebook accounts, where posting pictures of friends, family and events is common.
What some forget, is once a picture of you is on facebook, it is in cyberspace forever, and can be copied by anyone.
A few Summers ago, Jessica Alberts and a friend decided to dodge the hot Wichita heat with a trip to the pool.
"We took the pictures at the YMCA. We were at the water park, just having fun," said Alberts.
Alberts' friend posted the pictures on facebook.
"Only our friends could see it. We didn't make the profiles public. Everything was private," said Alberts.
Months later, Alberts' phone rang.
"I got a call saying you're on a porn website," said Alberts.
The pictures of Alberts and her friend in their bikinis, had been copied off facebook, and placed on a pornographic site.
"It's gross. My picture is affiliated with all of this," said Alberts.
Alberts' mom called police.
The family did not think about the pictures again, until, "Last week, my boyfriend texted me, and was like, you're on Google images," said Alberts.
The same pictures Alberts thought were gone, even deleted from facebook, were back.
The bikini pictures are now posted on a Russian photo sharing site, among pictures of other nude teens and even children.
"He took those pictures that were innocent, that were friends at a water park, and turned them into something completely different," said Alberts.
Unfortunately, there is little Alberts can do to fight back.
"If you post a picture that's publicly available, anybody else on the Internet can copy that picture, and they can do with it as they wish, and they can distribute it any way that they wish, and you have no control over it," said Sgt. Chester Pinkston, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for State of Kansas with the Exploited & Missing Child Unit.
All Alberts can do now, is prevent it from happening again.
"You post pictures on facebook all the time. Now, it really makes me think about who's looking at those pictures," said Alberts. "It's kind of scary, because I know he can do it again, and not be penalized for anything."
Sgt. Pinkston said it is important kids still have fun with social media sites, just make sure you first think about what you are putting on a site like facebook.
Make sure anything you post is something you would want your mother to see, and not something that could be used against you, or could hurt you someday down the road.