McAfee App Blurs Sensitive Facebook Photos

Dennis Faas's picture

McAfee has released a new browser add-on that allows Facebook users to more privately post personal pictures. The app reportedly prevents strangers from viewing these images.

Called Social Protection, it's a plug-in that offers two viewing features: First, it allows users to blur all their uploaded photos, and allow only the contacts the user selects to see them clearly.

Second, the software allows a user to select which images will be blurred. This allows all the other photographs to remain visible to Facebook friends, by default.

Images Blurred in Timeline, News Feed

Using this new system, a shared photo appearing in a Facebook timeline will now contain a blurred thumbnail photo, rather than a clear one.

Friends who click on this link, however, will receive a notification asking them to install a viewing plug-in if they wish to see clearly the image you've posted.

But that's not all: Even with the app installed, friends barred from viewing a particular photo will continue to see the blurred image. (Source:

McAfee says it has also ensured that there is no way for friends to download or save the encrypted photos. Even a screen capture tool will record only see a blank screen.

Similarly, all attempts to printing the screen containing your protected image will also produce a blank space where the image should be.

Untagged Photo Identification Feature

Social Protection does more than just blur or blank out images. It gives users the ability to identify an individual in untagged photos.

For example, if you find yourself in an offensive photo, the app will allow you to identify others shown there so you can contact them, find the owner of the photo, and request or demand it be removed. (You can also report your displeasure to Facebook, if you wish.)

As of now, McAfee will provide the new viewer plug-in as a free service. The company has not revealed whether or not it will charge for the app down the road. (Source:

Social Protection is expected to hit the streets by the end of August 2012 for PC versions of Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. Mac iOS and Android users will probably get access to the service by the end of the year.

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