Facebook is currently rolling out a new tool to help users protect their profile picture. It is a profile picture guard that give users better control on who can download and share their profile picture, and even prevent other users from taking a screenshot. Sadly though, this feature is only available in India, but Facebook says that they will roll it to more countries “soon”.
Facebook says that having a profile picture is an “important part of building community on Facebook because they help people find friends and create meaningful connections”. However, not everyone is comfortable doing so. The social networking company says that many women in India are wary about what might happen to their photos if they share it, which is why they are introducing this new feature to better protect their users.
Developed in partnership with Indian safety organisations like Centre for Social Research, Learning Links Foundation, Breakthrough, and Youth Ki Awaaz, users will be given a step-by-step guide to add an optional profile picture guard. When activated, other users will not be able to download, share or send user profile picture in a message on Facebook. Where possible, Facebook will also prevent other users from taking screenshot of profile pictures on Facebook – this feature is currently available on Android devices only.
Finally, the tool will also add a blue border and shield around the user’s profile picture as a visual cue of protection. The company says based on preliminary test, they find that people are at least 75% less likely to copy a profile picture if there is an extra design layer on it.
This sounds like an extremely useful tool and hopefully, the social networking company can roll it out to more countries as soon as possible. Sure, it will not completely prevent other people from stealing your profile picture, but at least there is an added layer of security to discourage them from doing so.