Facebook Profile Picture Guard: How to enable and is it effective?

Facebook on Wednesday announced it is piloting new tools in India that can prevent misuse of profile pictures. The social giant said that the feature was rolled out after feedback they received from users in India. The new feature gives more control to users by limiting who can download and share their profile pictures.

Aarati Soman, Facebook Product Manager, announced the new Photo Guard tool, aka Profile Picture Guard. Additionally, she revealed Facebook is also introducing designs to profile pictures which the company’s research has shown helpful in deterring misuse. The feature is expected to rollout to users in more countries soon which means that this will be exclusive to users in India for some time. Facebook says users in India will start seeing a step-by-step guide to add an optional profile picture guard. Once applied, the profile photo can no longer be downloaded, shared, or sent in a message on Facebook.

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Additionally, people who are not friends on Facebook won’t be able to tag anyone, including themselves, in your profile picture. Facebook also says that it will prevent others from taking a screenshot of your profile picture on Facebook where possible. This feature is currently available only on Android devices.

With the new Photo Guard, users who opt for the new tool will see a blue border and shield around their profile pictures as a visual cue of protection.

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If you are excited about Facebook’s new photo guard feature then follow the below steps to secure your profile photo. Note, not everyone will be able to see the feature immediately, as it is still being rolled out slowly in the country.

Method 1
Refresh your News Feed, and you may see a message (pictured below), prompting you to Help Protect Your Profile Picture

  1. Tap Turn On Profile Picture Guard
  2. You will then see a screen explaining the benefits of the Profile Picture Guard
  3. Click Next
  4. You will then see your current profile photo, complete with the shield symbol, with the option to Save

Method 2

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  1. Open your Facebook profile.
  2. Tap your profile photo
  3. You will then see the option (pictured below) to Turn on profile picture guard
  4. If selected, you will get the option to Save, and then see your profile photo with the shield symbol