Google Photos is a popular cloud storage service for photos and videos. It makes it easy to backup, organize, search, and share your media library. However, when sharing photos from your library, you want to make sure it is done securely. Here are some best practices for securely sharing your photos and albums from Google Photos:
Table of Contents
- Control Who Has Access
- Adjust Sharing Settings
- Limit Location Data
- Use Locked Folders
- Check Your Activity Page
- Share Responsibly
- Revoke Access Frequently
- Use Strong Google Account Security
- Sharing Photos from the Mobile App
- Sharing Photos on the Web
Control Who Has Access
Google Photos gives you granular control over who can access your shared content. When creating a shared album, you can choose to share via a link or invite specific Google users by email address or phone number.
- Anyone with the link can view, download, and reshare.
- You can reset the link at any time to revoke access.
- Only people you explicitly invite will have access.
- You can see who has access and remove people later.
I recommend sharing albums with specific people whenever possible, rather than making albums completely public via a link.
Adjust Sharing Settings
When you share an album, click “More options” to view and change sharing settings:
- Allow viewers to add photos – Disable if you don’t want others uploading to your album.
- Allow viewers to add comments – Disable if you don’t want commentary.
- Allow viewers to like photos – Self-explanatory.
Set these settings according to your preferences before opening up an album to other viewers.
Limit Location Data
Photos often contain GPS metadata revealing exactly where they were taken. Toggle the “Remove geo location in items shared by link” setting to disable location data for link shares. Note this does not apply when sharing directly with specific people.
Use Locked Folders
The Locked Folder feature allows you to hide private photos behind your phone’s screen lock method. Items in Locked Folders do not appear in your main library or shared content. This is useful for sensitive images you want to keep private, even from Google.
Check Your Activity Page
Google keeps track of all sharing activity across its products. Visit your Google Account Activity page to audit the photos and albums you have shared in Google Photos along with who they were shared with. Remove any unwanted shares.
Just because you can share a photo or album does not mean you should. Always get the consent of anyone identifiable in photos before sharing widely. And consider whether images contain sensitive personal details like IDs, account numbers, etc. that are not appropriate to share.
Revoke Access Frequently
It’s good practice to revisit your sharing settings on a regular basis. Remove access from people who no longer need to view your albums. And reset any public links that are no longer necessary. Maintaining strict control over access ensures your library stays private.
Use Strong Google Account Security
Enable two-factor authentication on your Google Account and use a strong, unique password to prevent unauthorized access. Review linked devices and apps with account access periodically and remove any that seem suspicious.
By taking advantage of Google Photos’ versatile sharing capabilities while also carefully limiting access and auditing activity, you can securely share your treasured memories without putting your privacy at risk.
Sharing Photos from the Mobile App
Sharing photos from the Google Photos mobile app provides a streamlined experience:
- Tap on a photo to view it.
- Tap the Share icon.
- Choose a sharing method – add to an album, send directly to a contact, copy link, etc.
- Tap and hold to select multiple photos.
- Tap Share in the menu bar at the top.
- Pick how you want to share the selected items.
- Tap the Albums tab.
- Tap + to create a new album.
- Select photos and tap Next.
- Name the album and tap Share.
- Choose sharing method – specific people or groups, link sharing, add to existing album, etc.
- Tap the Sharing tab.
- Tap on a shared album to view and change settings or remove viewers.
The mobile interface makes it simple to quickly share photos from your camera roll while still giving control over albums.
Sharing Photos on the Web
The Google Photos website has similar photo sharing capabilities:
- Hover over a photo.
- Click Select.
- Click Share in the top right.
- Choose how you want to share.
Create an Album
- Click Add to Album while photos are selected.
- Click New shared album.
- Give the album a name and description.
- Click Share and choose who to share with.
- Click the Sharing link in the side menu.
- Click on an album to change settings or remove viewers.
While the web interface looks a bit different, the sharing process is essentially the same.
Sharing special memories with friends and family is one of the great benefits of storing your photos digitally in Google Photos. However, you want to make sure any content you share is done so securely. By customizing share settings, limiting access, and frequently auditing your sharing activity, you can open up albums and photos to others without compromising your privacy.