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How to share photos privately with family and friends: 6 ways to stay secure

After a fantastic week of fun in the sun, you are ready to go home and upload the photos you took of your grandchildren playing on the beach, your husband riding his bike, or even your children laughing around an open campfire. You want to show all your friends the great time you had and provide these images to friends and family members to reminisce and share a smile!

However, before you click upload, what platform will you use to share these precious moments? While there is no wrong answer, how to share photos privately with family and friends is crucial to protecting yourself and your loved ones from strangers who have no business looking at your personal pictures. 

It may not seem like a big deal for a stranger to catch a glimpse of your family photos on the internet. What will they do with a picture of your partner riding their bike, or your daughter showcasing her knitting project? Unfortunately, even the most innocuous photos can be pirated and used for nefarious reasons. From identity theft to hacking and stalking, a single image could be used for any number of bad reasons.

To protect yourself from anyone who would use your images against you, learn how to share photos privately with family and friends, so that’s where those moments will stay: safe and secure. Keep those moments only in the hands of people you trust and love and who are guaranteed to appreciate the picture of you pushing your partner into the lake! 

person looking at smartphone pictures near a laptop

Social media channels

Social media encourages a culture to share all and share often. From beautiful pictures curated on Instagram to photo albums built into Facebook, these platforms were created to give people a place to come together and connect digitally.

While it is easy to share photos instantly to almost all social media platforms, there are just some photos that you may not want the entire world to see. To combat strangers from looking at your personal pictures on social media, you will have to set your privacy settings. These days, most social media applications have privacy settings that are simple for you to toggle into the on position. These private settings add an extra layer of security to your profile and offer options to remove unwanted followers or comments. However, keep in mind that there is no guarantee that your social media platform of choice will hold and store your photos forever. Before you share your photos to any social media application, you should store and organize your files correctly first. 

Third-party applications

How to share photos privately with friends and family can be as simple, and sending them a link to a privately created folder through a third-party application. To make this happen, you will need to set up an account with a cloud provider. Companies such as Google, DropBox, iCloud, or Microsoft OneDrive, provide cloud computing with simple drag and drop action. These applications will walk you through the process on how to create a shared folder, link it to your phone or computer, and upload your photos. Once you have uploaded all of the photos you desire, you can share the link to friends and family and provide them access to your images and documents. While most cloud storage programs already have security measures in place, make sure you do your part as well. Create a strong login password and backup your data in case there are any accidental deletions within the cloud infrastructure. 

Text messages

If you only have the occasional picture or maybe you are not interested in social media or cloud computing - this could be your answer. How to share photos privately with family and friends can be completed through the touch of a button, especially when both Grandma and your thirteen-year-old niece all have a smartphone. Depending on the type of smartphone everyone has, the instant messenger function offers a ‘group chat’ option that allows you to send texts and images to a designated group of individuals at one time. From iMessage to Android Messenger, or WhatsApp, these texting apps all allow for group messenger services that can be privately shared with only those you would like to see your images. 

Photo albums & framed pictures

Who doesn’t love to receive a photo book filled with family vacation pictures or a framed photo to hang on the walls? While not the most “instant” of the choices, this is a great way to keep your pictures from not being actively viewable on the internet and away from prying eyes. With technology today, there are many photo book websites that offer excellent image quality, ease of creation, and high-quality production. Programs such as Snapfish, Smugmug, or Shutterfly often provide their own security measures but if you want to be guaranteed your images are not floating around the internet - delete your account and your images directly after you create your items. 

USB drives

This is hands down one of the most secure ways to share photos privately with family and friends. Plugging in a usb drive directly to your computer and uploading photos onto the device guarantees that nobody will be able to use or view the images online. In fact, the photos never make it on the internet and are only stored on your computer and that specific USB device. However, make sure that your home computer is secure and encrypted and you don’t lose your USB drive on the way to give it to a friend or family member. USB drives are typically small and easy to misplace so make sure you physically store it in a safe and secure location! 


You should never have to worry that your private images could be used for nefarious reasons. There is much joy in sharing images with friends and family and coupling that with worry over someone tarnishing your family memories is extremely disheartening. To completely remove any safety or privacy concerns, turn to Rosy, who takes security issues seriously. With security safeguards built into the core of its operating system, this digital assistant tool helps families connect, preserve memories, and organize digital materials all within a platform that puts user security and privacy first. 

Unlike other devices or third-party applications on the market today, Rosy was built to help users explore smart technology, but in a private and secure way. Encrypted with unique keys specific to the consumer, Rosy uses the latest security tools and software, and is always running security audits to keep your data - and family photos - safe.

If you'd like to learn more about how Rosy can help keep your photos private and secure, be sure to join our waitlist for the Rosy app launching later this year.