Call me stupid, but I just do not understand......

United States
December 16, 2008 11:55am CST
I know that many people do not and will not post pics of themselves as avatars on forums and will not post pics of themselves anywhere on any website. Different people have different reasons for this and I understand most of those reasons. Some just don't like their own pics and do not want to show them off. Some are just really shy and don't feel comfortable posting these pics, Some people have g/f's, b/f's, husband's, wives or whatever whom simply prefer them not to posts pics of themselves, etc. I understand all of that. However, I have seen people post on this website, as well as others, that they do not and will not posts pics of themselves on the internet because they fear becoming victims of identity theft. Call me stupid, but I just don't understand the logic behind that reasoning. The definition of identity theft is the illegal use of another person's name, social security number, etc. in order to obtain money or credit or various things of that nature. Just how is anyone going to obtain one's name, social security number or other vital personal information simply by viewing that person's picture? The way I see it, the only thing a picture of one's self would tell anyone is what that person looks like, and it does not even really tell that for sure, on the web, since anyone who did not know that person outside of the net would have no real way to know for sure if the picture posted was truly the person it claimed to be or not. So to the people who will not post their own pics as avatars, nor post their self portraits on their profiles because they fear identity theft, what is the logic behind your reasoning? Do you think people can steal your identity just by seeing what you look like? If that were true, wouldn't you have to hide in your house all the time and never go out in public where strangers and other people can see you and see what you like? Just asking.
11 people like this
17 responses
• China
17 Dec 08
i think those peope fearing the identity theft,just exaggerate the ability of the theft, they imagine the theft has some tricks to do it. even if they donnot want your personnal information, but they can use your pic for some malice intention, uglify your pic or give bad comment on your pic. all these possible happenning is what people worried.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Dec 08
ok
• Philippines
17 Dec 08
I don't get it either! It's not like posting your bank statements and stuff!
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Dec 08
true
• India
17 Dec 08
Well being a guy i really dont care about my identity being stolen by anyone and i know what could be the consequences and i know how to handle that if anything like that happens to me and to be a best mylotter you first have to have your own picture as avatar so that people would psychologically think about you and then would answer for your questions and i know this for sure since i myself is an psycholgy student...Happy mylotting....
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Dec 08
To be a "best" mylotter, you need to start with your own pic as an avatar, interesting thought.
@rsa101 (24724)
• Philippines
17 Dec 08
I guess that the picture maybe used by others that is what they mean by identity theft. I tried it once in here but then decided to discard it because my picture would really be used by others. So in here I prefer to use other avatar than my own picture.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Dec 08
Okiedokies.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Dec 08
identity theft from a picture is pretty unlikely. I have never put my picture on the web and never will because I'm a very private person, and I want to maintain my privacy. But if your name and picture are both available, it's much easier to track you down, not necessarily for identity theft, but for stalking or harrassment. The real danger of identity theft comes from your personal information, and your careless protection of it on the web. If you give out that information on fake sites or in response to phoney requests, then identity theft is very possible. It happens all the time.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Dec 08
Yes, identity theft is possible and does happen quite often, but as you say, not from simply posting a pic, but from being careless with vital personal information. I completely understand not wanting to post your picture due to privacy. I all also understand not posting your picture to avoid being stalked.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
16 Dec 08
Don't worry betsyraeduke, I won't call you stupid as its meaning is inability to learn. OK back to your core question, as a man with biz objectives I must upload my true pics. of mine. Only with a small reason, to place a clear identity to meet offline in reality in future time. No good reason for me to hide myself, matter of fact for what I need to be hidden. I used the word NEED there and not for WANT. I never bother for what others said or gonna say. My objectives are very clear on biz world. I don't see any good point for any third party to perform 'identity theft' just from my little pics. or how they gonna do that.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Dec 08
That's exactly what I am saying, how is someone going to steal your identity from just a pic?
1 person likes this
@gicolet (1703)
• United States
16 Dec 08
I understand your point but some people take it seriously. See a few months ago there was this guy from Africa who said he was originally from London. He sent this girl a picture of him and the girl just fell in love with him. He borrowed money from this girl and the girl sent him the money. They were supposed to meet in some airport here in the U.S. but he didn't show up. Turns out that the guy in the picture is a professional model in Hawaii. His real name was also used by that guy in Africa. The girl was scammed and the model guy in Hawaii was also pissed. It was featured in Oprah few weeks ago. BTW, I don't upload my pictures on mylot cause my husband don't want me to.
• United States
16 Dec 08
Wow! That must have been really upsetting. But still, the example you give is of someone scamming someone using the pic of a professional model. Professional models are a celebrity of sorts so finding a real name to go along with a pic would not be hard. I was simply stating that with a pic alone, and no other personal info., including name, it would be awful hard for anyone to steal one's identity from that.
1 person likes this
@GAUCI123 (1042)
• Malta
16 Dec 08
Well it is true that some people are afraid of identity theft, however I think it is difficult to steal one's identity. I hate posting photos the only reason is that people can easily copy my photo and the make a photo montage and then re send it on the net. What if you are married and someone who knows you and wants you to harm your relationship, copies your photo modify it and then send it to your wife or husband. It can happen and leads to many trouble and you will be accused without having any guilt. You may say that you will realise that is a fake photo, but today tecnology is really evolving that they do everything with the computer.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Dec 08
The thing about that is that most likely, only a person who knows you in real life would have the motive and the other necessary information to do something like that. If the person knows you in real life, they would not need to find a picture of you posted on the net in order to do something like that. They could simply use any camera, take a picture of you themselves, upload it to their own computer and have at it.
1 person likes this
• Canada
16 Dec 08
I like to call it the 'myths' of internet usage. A general fear for most is that they don't want to be stalked or have some weirdo get some kind of information on them and track them down. For me I always post my pic in my avatar, it just wouldn't be 'me' without it really. It's all a personal preference and whether or not people are genuinely secure with the internet and the sites they use to put some of their information in. The pic is real but the name is my 'internet name'. When you give pictures and precise names is when identity theft is a long shot but still a possibility. A lot of profiles state where you are or what state or country you live in. This allows the thief to really narrow down their search. In the end though many are insecure with the security the internet provides. I love facebook hate myspace for the simple fact that your profile is invisible to the www if you so choose it to be. Myspace is a breeding ground for sick individuals and yes even those looking for identity theft. Some place TOO much information when it comes to those sites. Name address, phone numbers. The more information you provide to them the easier it is to have identity theft done to you. I am sure to be knowledgeable with the sites I join prior to and with anything I buy online I be sure to read reviews and make sure they are a verified secured site.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Dec 08
I can definitely see where identity theft might be a problem if one posts a lot of personal info. such as their real name, address, phone numbers, etc. I just don't see identity theft as problem from a picture alone, as some people seem to fear it might be. I can also see where identity theft could become a problem from purchasing things online and things of that nature.As for stalking, I think the possibility of that is also higher from posting tons of personal info. such as your location and things of that nature, which most any of that sort of info can be hidden from people's profiles even in sites like myspace, if the person chooses to hide it, btw. It does make sense not to post to much personal info. such as name, phone numbers, etc.
1 person likes this
@Lindalinda (4112)
• Canada
17 Dec 08
It may seem a bit paranoid but I do understand why people don't post their pictures on the internet or in their avatar. You are right, no one can steal your identity merely by copying your picture, but human nature as it is, a person will often reveal many personal details in posts or answers to discussions in forums. Many people also post pictures of their children and spouses as part of "my pictures" so, assume for a moment someone is stalking someone else. By looking at a profile, age, location, home town and details obtained from posts a stalker can piece together a lot of information and possibly find the person. I have seen posts on Mylot where a person described the plaza where they worked and the name of the store next door to their place of employment and since the town they lived in did not seem to be a huge one it would be easy for that person to be found if the stalker also had a picture. As far as identity theft is concerned, you are right more informtion such as social insurance number, home address etc. would be needed. The other thing is, once your picture is on the internet it never really dissapears completely even if it is taken off.
• Canada
17 Dec 08
I forgot to add that these days pictures can be altered by using photoshop and other software, so if someone had it in for you they could do real damage to your reputation.
• United States
17 Dec 08
Yes, that all makes sense and all that is a valid, sensible reason for not wanting to posts your picture, that particular reason I understand. As far someone having it in for you and using your pic to do damage though, I think for a person to "have it in" for someone that much, it would most likely be a person who knows them in real life. In that case, they would not have to find a picture of the person they had it in for on the net. Since they know the person in real life, they could easily take their own picture of the person and post it themselves and do whatever.
@tammytwo (4302)
• United States
16 Dec 08
I don't do it for that reason. I'm not sure if they could have their identity stolen but I believe it could be possible.
• United States
16 Dec 08
You believe it could be possible. Ok, my question is how? Identity theft is the illegal use of another person's name or social security number in order to gain access to money or credit not due to them. So in order to steal a person's identity you would have to have or have access to vital personal info. of that person, such as their real name, social security number, etc. How is just a picture, with no personal information posted with it, going to give away that sort of information? If a person could get that sort of information about someone from just seeing their picture, they could get the same info. from just seeing the person's face in real life.
@ClassyCat (1214)
• United States
17 Dec 08
And - - - - some of us don't know how to upload (or whatever it's called)our picture. I'd rather use a picture of an object anyway. C. C.
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
17 Dec 08
I don't take good pictures so I don't like to put my picture on the net. I can understand how some people could be afraid of being perceived differently than they really are. Also with so many people taking pictures via phones etc and circulating them on the net you have to wonder what is out there in cyberspace that could be either embarrassing or damaging to our self images. The ability of people to steal our information is scary. I am sure that some ingenious person could if they knew how, take an image (picture) from a site on the web and "photoshop" it into almost any thing including illegal activities. Let's face it, the more technology that is available, the more chance there is for unscrupulous people to take advantage of unsuspecting people.
• United States
18 Dec 08
Yes people should be careful and there are many good and valid reasons for one not to posts their pictures on the net and I understand all of those reasons. I just don't see "identity theft" as an understandable reason. I don't care what kind of technology there is or how much someone manipulates a picture in photoshop, etc. they still would not be able to get one's vital personal information, such as their social security number, exact real, full name, etc. from just a photo alone and that is the information that they would need in order to commit "identity theft". Manipulating someone's photo and posting it some where in a demeaning or demoralizing pose is awful and something one maybe should be leary of and is a good reason for not wanting to posts your pic, but that is not identity theft. Wanting your privacy is a good reason not to posts your pic, but is not the same as fearing identity theft. Someone else could take the picture, post it as their own and claim that it is their face in the picture. Many people would not want another person to do that with their picture and would not post their picture for that reason and this is also a good, understandable reason for not wanting to posts your picture, but again, even if someone did that, that still would not be identity theft as it does not involve using the person's name and social security number for illegal gain. I understand most reasons that people have for not wanting to posts their pics, I just don't understand the "fear of identity theft" reason.
• China
17 Dec 08
i like to show my pics in any time ,hehe ,i;m a new here ,later i will show my wedding pics ,hope you can come to have a look ,hehe
• United States
17 Dec 08
Okay, maybe I'll do that! hehe. Welcome to mylot!
@munhozmib (3850)
• Sao Paulo, Brazil
17 Dec 08
Hello there! I have heard some people saying this too, and I have to admit that it doesn't make sense. After all, nobody can get your personal information just by having your picture. They can say that they are you, this may happen. They can have your name and pretend to be you, but they will not be able to prove it. I have also seen people saying that they will not post their picture because they are afraid somebody might steal it and use Photoshop to change something. I also don't fear that, since I do not have any enemies that would do it with bad intentions. Perhaps a friend can get it and make it, but just as a joke. And I wouldn't mind. I'm the person behind the computer, not the picture itself. Respectfully, Munhozmib.
• United States
17 Dec 08
Exactly!
• United States
17 Dec 08
Im not great looking but my dog Sparky is,a pic doesnt hurt anything,it does bring people more close to have a face with a name,i agree everyone should have a pic of somekind
• United States
17 Dec 08
Oh, I think it's up to each individual if they want to post their pic or not, I just didn't understand that one reason (mentioned in this discussion)that some people give for not doing it. LOL!
@MichaelJay (1100)
17 Dec 08
I believe everybody has a right to privacy but the minute you start any kind of activity online you put that at risk. I don't mind people seeing my ugly mug but there are others, such as my wife, who are not comfortable with the thought of her image being out there amongst strangers. Maybe we're old fashioned and like the idea of a good old photo album to show to family and friends but with the internet it is just too impersonal. Good discussion, I like it.
• United States
17 Dec 08
Yes, that is an understandable and good reason to not want to posts your pic. That one I understand.
@suspenseful (40313)
• Canada
16 Dec 08
I always that the reason people post their photos is because they are not afraid of anyone and dare anyone to try to get them. I do not post mine as I want to lose a little weight and it seems my weight all goes to my face, so they will look at my face now and thing that I weigh around three hundred pounds and look like rolly polly. Besides, I do not want to scare anyone? So I am looking after your welfare. Identity theft has nothing to do it. I do not put my information, or anything one can use. And if I do, it is password protected, so do not have to worry.
• United States
16 Dec 08
LOL! Well thanks for looking after my welfare.