Monday, March 12, 2012

My Story. Of Why I Watermark My Photos.

I made a point a few weeks ago to talk about why I watermark my photos. 
And because I have numerous other posts scheduled, this one has been kind of on the back burner.
Just waiting for the best opportunity. Which I guess would be today.

I'm not going to drag this out, as it is probably self-explanatory why I do. But I will share with you my story, in hopes of maybe changing some other people's perspective on their images and watermarking.

To be honest with you, I read "this" kind of story a few times on the internet. And although it should have been a reality check. And although I already knew these things were a possibility...My thought process at the time was... I'm one little fish in a pond full of millions.

Why yes, this is true. However, it doesn't mean it can't happen to you.

So let us start with the email that I received back on January 2nd.
Okay. Back up. Holland?! What in the world is going on here. I mean I do realize that people all across the globe read blogs, but I would have never have imagined that mine would catch some attention in Holland, of all places. But again.. this just shows how little we know about our readership out there. 

The other thing that shocked me about all this, is the fact that someone caught them. Someone in Holland. What are the chances? Honestly. Maybe in the United States, sure. But in Holland? It meant that someone else in that country happened to read my blog, or stumble across my blog, and see these pictures of me and my daughter and realize that we were not the same person.

And I am so thankful for that. That someone reached out to me. That I found out about this.

Now, lets keep going with this story...

The same day that I received this email, my blog was getting like 5,000-6,000 hits a day for a couple of days. And the source of the hits? This forum that Kayla {above} speaks of.

Of course I go to this forum. I investigate {for hours}, and read and read and read. 

Now, mind you, all of this is in a different language. So I have to resort to using the translator online, which I did, and I was just shocked by how huge this topic was in this country.

I found pictures of my daughter and myself. Me being pregnant, me holding my daughter as a newborn. And me was not me, but someone that referred to themselves as "dubecky." How clever, she even used my name, or part of it at least.

And the people talked. They were enraged because this person had gone on and on about their pregnancy for months, showed pictures of her pregnant belly {me}, and then on January 1st she had stated that she went into labor early and then had pictures of me {and andrew} with our baby girl the day she was born.

They talked about how they couldn't believe that someone would lie, and why they would do such a thing, and so forth.

The forum was endless. The conversations were firing up a storm. And I sat there, honestly, just in amazement.... asking myself... "did this really just happen to me?"

I wasn't furious.  Surprisingly. Mad? Yes. In disbelief? Yes. Numb? Yes. But out of all the emotions? Shock overpowered them all. Like wow. I would have never known about this. Perhaps it has happened before? And surely it can happen again.

In the end, the girl actually got kicked off the website by the owners and clearly was scrutinized by her peers. But neither of those things mattered to me.

What mattered to me, was that I needed to prevent this from happening again. Sure, I cannot control what other people do. No, I will not let this stop me from blogging or writing my story, our life. It neither scares me nor intimidates me. But it gives me caution. Caution that I will use when posting images of me and my family.

You see, the majority of bloggers out there don't watermark their photos. Big bloggers, little bloggers. Most of them? 99% of them? Don't. You see,  Google images will provide you an endless amounts of pictures of babies with not a single watermark to them. And therefore? People out there can steal images all they want, and as many as they want. And most of the time? No one will ever know.

But when you do find out that they do? It makes you think twice. Makes you go that extra step to protect your images. And not just putting a watermark in the corner or on the bottom or top {because remember guys, you can simply just crop that out}, but doing so in a way that will hopefully prevent someone from stealing my images and making it seem as their own. And my only regret?

That I didn't do this from the very beginning.

So learn from my story. Take that little extra time. Put that extra effort. Use caution. Don't let it scare you or make you run away. Just be smarter.

Be the one that is in control.

90 comments:

  1. Wow ! That is crazy and a bit scary to know that there are people that would do this, let alone in a total different country!!!! I def don't have nearly as many readers on my blog and I started it because I wanted to keep family members updated on my kiddos, but I now want to protect my own images because you just never know! How do you watermark? And thank you for this post, it surely makes you realize how you could never be too careful!

    Also totally different subject, but how do you put all of your daughters age stats and likes on her picture, I've seen this on pinterest and want to do it for my kids

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  2. Complete insanity. Can't believe someone would do something like that? Seriously strange and that girl needs help. Thank goodness for the girl who sent you an email! I've only ever watermarked a few of my images...now I might need to start doing them all!

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  3. Wow...I'm glad I read this. Seems a little creepy that people actually do that! I have very few readers for my blog, mostly family, but that could still happen. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  4. Holy crap thats nuts! I mean I always watermark my etsy shop stuff because thats obvious but I just never thought to do it on my blog photos. I see it on alot of mom blog but never really thought someone would steal photos and pose as someone else! Creepy ! Especially when you think that person could have some kind of sick obsession with you like stalker-ish! Definitely watermarking from now on!

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  5. This is super scary! What program do you use to watermark? Ive been getting a lot of hits from strage websites (sex shops, yuck) and I thinkI need to start doing this NOW!

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  6. That has to be the creepiest thing I have ever heard. I don't understand some people. Weirdos. At least now you know about it.

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  7. WOW!!! That is all I can say!!

    What program do you use to watermark?

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  8. Thank you soooo much friend for sharing this!!! There will be a whole lot of watermarking via Lightroom happening in this house!!! Hugs and thank you!!

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  9. Crazy!!! Guess I will look into watermarking my pics now!!

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  10. I've honestly been lazy about this but your story makes everything seem all too real. I need to figure out how to do this in lightroom. Now I want to go back through all my pics but what a headache that would be eeeks!

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  11. Now I'm freaked out. How do you water mark them? Everyone should do this. Thanks for the info.

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  12. Wow. That is unreal. Makes me want to start "water marking" my pics... and my blog is no where near as popular as yours. LOL

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  13. I'm sorry this was happening!!! Good for you for not letting it really get you too mad-- I probably would have been. Pictures of me- whatever.. but pictures of my child (that I don't even have yet)- I don't think so.

    I like 50% of the time watermark, depending on which computer I'm blogging from-- the blogging software on my PC allows it to be done very easily and quickly; blogging from blogger.com does not.

    Makes me think twice for sure!!!

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  14. This makes me sick to my stomach. I need to watermark NOW!

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  15. Two weeks ago I went through the same thing. Checked my stats, and noticed a referring site with many pageviews. The site was consistent. I go to check it out, and right there was a picture of Connor, and the site using his first name. I was enraged. I instantly reverted that post to draft so it someone clicked on the picture, it would no longer take them to the post. I then decided that going private was much more appropriate to do. Essentially I only write about what we are doing as a family and Connor's updates, so I don't care if I lose readers. But I know that scary feeling and staring at the screen feeling helpless.

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  16. Oh, and in case I do decide to go public again, what do you use to watermark your photos? Did you go back and watermark all of them or just from here on out?

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  17. Eek! That is so creepy! What kind of a weirdo does that!?

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  18. Holy crap that's creepy! Thanks for this post. Whenever I have children, I will DEFINITELY be watermarking my pictures!

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  19. I've heard all sorts of stories like this and it scares me to no end. I can only imagine your stance on it or anyone's who has kids as being even worse. I know we're all putting ourselves and our photography out there on the internet but that doesn't mean that we don't still own our photos.
    Thank you for posting this and helping to reach out to those that do not know this happens.

    Have a great day girl

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  20. WOW. That's crazy. I wonder why the heck she was doing that? I mean seriously.

    You should do a tutorial on how to watermark photos ;)

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  21. Wow, you never think that something like that could happen to you until it does!! Thank goodness someone found out the truth and informed you.

    I have been watermarking, but not as consistent as I should be. I will be now though.

    I use Picasea to do mine. It's super easy.

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  22. Thank you Becky for the reminder. I've been slacking off on watermarking my pictures. I put a code to right click protect my blog into the html so that my pictures are no longer able to be saved that way but I know there are other ways. I had some pictures taken and posted on another blog a couple of years ago and I felt so violated. I'm sorry it happened to you too.

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  23. That is crazy! I mean, very possible if you think about it, but my goodness!

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  24. You have now changes my posting requirements. Starting today, I will watermark EVERYTHING!

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  25. Wow! That is just plain c-r-a-z-y! Why would someone do such a thing?! If you get a chance will you do a post on how to watermark your photos & what program you use? Please & thank you! :)

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  26. Oh my goodness! That is widly insane!! And scary! I was actually wondering how to water mark photos?! Maybe you could share a post on that? :)

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  27. Wow, I cannot imagine.... What do you use to watermark? What program? I'd love a tutorial!!

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  28. Seriously?!? Who does that! That is seriously insane! I'm so sorry that happened to you!!! But I'm so glad you watermark your images now! People are nuts!

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  29. Wow that is totally creepy. I think you are smart to watermark. I don't know if I'll start doing it now, but if I'm still blogging when I have kiddos (hope to be!) I think I'll definitely keep tabs on them for everyones safety!

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  30. So what program do you use to keep the pictures safe???

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  31. OH-EM-GEEEEE!!! HOLLAND?!? That is insane!! I typically just do a small corner watermark and lately I've been thinking that just isn't enough. Because well obviously insane things like this might happen. Holy cow. I'm speechless. Wow. I'll be updating my watermark to cover more of the central photo. Thanks for sharing, I hope Holland Becky imposter has learned some sort of lesson!

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  32. That is the craziest story EVER! I wouldn't believe that could ever happen to me, but you're right- you never, ever know.

    You should totally do a photo watermarking tutorial ;)

    Also, I've always wondered..what program do you use for your photo collages? Like the pic of E in this post...you have the title of the post to the right and it blends. It makes your blog look so organized!

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  33. Thanks for sharing this Becky! I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately. It freaks me out. It had to be creepy to see someone else using photos of your family.

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  34. People are totally nuts!! You can also put html code into your template that will make it so no one can copy anything off of your blog, including your photos. When they right click it to copy, an error message pops up. It's pretty awesome :)

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    1. How do you find the code? Can you share?

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  35. Did you go back through and re-post all of your previous pictures, or did you just start where you left off posting?

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  36. That's definitely crazy scary.

    Do tell how you watermark your pics!

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  37. that story is so scary!

    the thought that someone made your daughter her daughter is kinda gross!

    hope this is the last time it happens!

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  38. Wow, that is very freaky! Can you watermark your photos for free without having photoshop etc.?? I really need to do this too.

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  39. omg, you just scared the hell out of me. can you share how you watermark you pictures? i think it is about time i start doing this!

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  40. That really scares me. I am going to do this now on, did that ever make you want to go private??

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  41. This is seriously just insane!!! It's definitely a blessing that you found out what was going on! Definitely makes me want to start marking my photos!

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  42. I'm so sorry this happened to you! That's crazy! I started watermarking my pictures about a year ago and even though I had some readers complain about it I don't give a crap. It's the only way I'm going to put pictures of my baby up on my blog now so they can just get over it. :) I don't regret putting a watermark on his pictures. Never.

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  43. So crazy! Glad you were able to find out.

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  44. Wow, that is so crazy, and scary! I have always heard about that happening, but of course thought that it could never happen to me. I am so glad that someone reached out to you and told you what was going on. I couldn't imagine how freaked I would be. Definitely scary! I don't watermark my pictures, but I do put my blog name on there.. Which I guess is something. Yikes!

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  45. What a psycho! I'm so glad you shared this story. Could you tell us what you use to watermark? I'm so glad this didnt discourage you from blogging!

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  46. This same thing has happened on a forum that I'm on. Are you going back in all of your old posts to watermark those pictures, or going from here on out? I'm trying to decide what I want to do.

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  47. Very scary!

    Could you share how you find it best to watermark, what you use to watermark, etc.?

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  48. That is SO creepy!! I started watermarking mine a while back due to a similar story. But I actually had my engagement photos stolen off Facebook and found a girl using them as her own. I can't believe people do that!

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  49. Have you seen the movie/documentary Catfish?? Similar and similarly creepy.

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  50. That is SO crazy!! I totally agree with you...I've always thought, I mean, I'm one tiny fish with few readers...but this scares me! I need to start watermarking my photos. Thanks for sharing!

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  51. So scary! It's so disappointing that people have to do things like that and ruin a good thing. I always kind of rolled my eyes when I saw pictures with watermarks, but this definitely changes my view! Thanks for sharing!

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  52. That is one of the most horrible things I've ever heard. Who does that?!?! Well, you got me to thinking of watermarking all my pics, even though I'm not near close to having children, but just everything, including just ones of my boyf and myself!

    xo kay

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  53. What are you using to watermark?? This is so scary.. I just started doing it a few months ago- with Picnik but they are closing!! Thanks girl

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  54. wowwww that is sooo creepy!
    Thankfully you found out and it was settled.

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  55. Wow, that is insane. I used to watermark photos sometimes but then I got lazy. Now that I'm posting pics of my babe all the time, I really really should! Thanks for sharing!

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  56. Yet another reason i went private, lol. Creeepy!

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  57. Tag! You're it! Check out my last post for an explanation!

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  58. Holy CRAZY!! How wonderful that someone decided to take the time and let you know about it, though!

    And I definitely agree with many of the commenters before that it would be SO GREAT if you could do a tutorial post on how to watermark images, since this is now something that I want to start doing!

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  59. that is so crazy and no one should have to find out something like that. I've actually had this happen to me on a pregnancy website I use to go on. Someone made up a profile using pictures of both my girls. After that I deleted all my pictures and my profile. But I am definetly going to start water marking my photos cause you never know. What program do you use to water mark your pictures. Right now I'm using Picnik but that's going away in April so I need to find a new editing place.

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  60. I want to say "WOW...CRAZY!!" That seems to be the common sentiment on this topic. But seriously, how psychotic do you have to be to totally pretend to have someone else's life? Yikes. Downright scary. I disabled the right click function on my photos when I had my blog redesigned and I remember at the time thinking "Eh, I have like 10 followers, does it really matter?" But thank you for reminding us ALL that no matter how big or small or lil ole' blogs are, IT DOES MATTER. I would go insane if I found out someone was using pics of my daughter. Like, go to their house, confront them at their front door-insane. ; ) We gotta protect our littles!

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  61. Wow. Thank you! I've been reading for a while now but never comment. I live in Northern Indiana and have a 6 month old little boy. Thank you so much for bringing my attention to this. No one reads my blog... or so I think... so I must MUST do this from now on. You've opened my eyes! :)

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  62. Wow. Thank you! I've been reading for a while now but never comment. I live in Northern Indiana and have a 6 month old little boy. Thank you so much for bringing my attention to this. No one reads my blog... or so I think... so I must MUST do this from now on. You've opened my eyes! :)

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  63. HOLY COW! I know everyone is asking you this...but what program do you use to watermark?

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  64. Holy bananas that's insane & freaky as hell!

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  65. OMG!! I cannot beleive that, how scarey!!! You are so lucky that someone notified you... And thank you so much for sharing yor story. Really makes you think.. So I would love to know how you watermark?? Can you do it for previous posts as well as future? Also, I would love to know how to disable to right click method as well, any idea how to do this?

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  66. Holy crap!

    I watermark my photography photos, but never even thought to do so with my personal pictures. I figured, things like that aren't anything people would want to steal or even care to claim as their own. I suppose I always knew this was possible, but WOW. It's almost harder to believe now that there is a story proving it is. Sheesh. What a strange woman.

    I'm so glad you were able to find out about it. Thanks for sharing!

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  67. Wow, thank you. From this day forward I will be watermaking my photos. I am so sorry you had to go through that.

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  68. Un. Be. Lievable. UGH! I'm so sorry that happened to you - thank you so much for sharing!

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  69. YIKES! I'm so sorry this happened to you!

    Wow...I only watermarked for a short time because of the extra effort involved, but you're right. It's worth it!

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  70. That is uber creepy! I don't know how to watermark!

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  71. You see, I can't understand why people do this kind of stuff. It's just weird. I just can't see the fun in "creating" a life based on someone else. I've seen this happen several times and it's completely baffling.

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  72. Wow! Scary! I had no idea that happened to you. I definitely need to get on doing that even though my blog is a little tiny peon..pion? hell however you spell it. So glad you shared this post!!

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  73. What a crazy story! Can you share *how* you watermark your photos? I think many people (myself included) don't because it's the extra hassle. If you have a quick/easy way, please let us know.

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  74. That's insane! It's so crazy to US because we'd NEVER actually do something like that! But there are some WEIRD people out there! And it's better to be protected so that won't happen!

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  75. That's insane! It's so crazy to US because we'd NEVER actually do something like that! But there are some WEIRD people out there! And it's better to be protected so that won't happen!

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  76. That is crazy! Can you blog about how to do a watermark? :o)

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  77. Wow how scary! I've honestly really never thought about it but this really makes me think I should.

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  78. Oh my goodness. THANK YOU for telling us this story. What a crazy one it was! Definitely making me think twice...

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  79. Oh wow. That's so creepy! I had a odd situation last week where I had a large amount of hits from the Netherlands. Now, I think I might investigate further. Yikes.

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  80. I have heard many stories like this and I so want to start watermarking my pictures. I watermark my Etsy pictures, so I know it is easy. Would you mind sharing how your do your watermarks? Do you open your watermark image and put it in all of your pictures, or is there an easier way?

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  81. That is CRAZY! I can't believe someone would actually do that.. I kind of feel sorry for the psycho. But at the same time furious for you!! I will admit that I get lazy with my watermarking. I should probably take a hint and get better!

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  82. total food for thought, thank you for this post. i watermarked as soon as i had baby but then got lazy... i will have to start again.

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  83. Most of my pics are food so while I wouldn't be thrilled if someone stole them, I wouldn't be creeped out. You prompted me to watermark my few personal pics. Crazies.

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  84. Whoa! Now that is really creepy. THanks for sharing - I'm shocked.

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  85. From early on i made the conscious decision to protect myself and my family. Everytime i post a picture of my baby i use a watermark cortesy of photoshop or Livewriter.

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  86. Wow, that is scary! I have been a little bit weary of that happening myself but haven't taken the time, like you said, to watermark. I'm not even sure how to? The editing program I have allows me to write on top of pics but doesn't have a setting I don't believe. Right now I just have a generic program. I'll have to look into it more. Thanks for sharing and so sorry it happened to you! =(

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  87. This makes me so sick that people think it's okay to do this. Something similar happened to Samantha at Hooah and Hiccups. People are crazy and I believe I'm going to begin waterproofing to prevent this from happening to me.

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