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Published on February 27th, 2013 | by Mark

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Flickr

An image hosting and video hosting website that is very popular for users wanting to share personal photos.

Sign Up In A Snap

There are three ways to sign up for a Flickr account.  You can use any of your existing Yahoo, Facebook or Google accounts to access this photo-sharing service.  If you haven’t got one of those, you can register for a Yahoo account through Flickr’s homepage.

Getting an account is easy and the password policy isn’t too strict.  Flickr expects users to type in passwords that are a a minimum of eight characters but no more than 32 characters long.  All the criteria of an acceptable password are helpfully listed underneath the password entry field and each criterion lights up when it’s met by the user.  Apart from the character limit, you have to include at least one uppercase letter and a numeral in your password.

Focussing On Your Safety

Unfortunately, if you’re using Flickr there is still no way to guarantee safer access to your account bar having a strong password.  Although the availability of SSL has been floated several times in user comment boards on Flickr, there’s no option to enable this through your account.

There is no native Flickr two-factor authentication protocol implemented yet.  But if your Flickr account is integrated with your Facebook or Google accounts there’s a roundabout way to get two-step access.  By enabling two-factor authentication on Facebook or Google, you will also be challenged to give a security code on Flickr unless you have already logged on Facebook or Google beforehand.  This is still just a makeshift solution and hopefully Flickr will introduce better security options in the future.

Flickr’s Security Settings

Flickr’s security settings include mainly the privacy controls on your pictures: who can see them or comment on them.  Beyond editing your password, there’s nothing else that relates to the safety of your Flickr account.

To access your account settings page and change your password, click on your profile picture at the right-hand side of the page and then select ‘Settings’.  The password editing link is found by scrolling downwards on the first tab.

Privacy For Your Pics

Flickr abides by the privacy policies set out by its parent company Yahoo.  The personal data that is collected from your registration and activity on the account is used by Flickr to provide you with its services, connect you with other users you may know or be interested in or display targeted advertisements.

Yahoo does not rent, sell, or share personal information about you with other people or non-affiliated companies, but it may disclose some of the information it collects to third party company that help it with providing its services.

Calling It A Day?

Deleting your Flickr account is very easy and can be done through your accounts settings page.  After logging in and going on your account settings, scroll down and click on the link that says ‘Delete your Flickr account’.

When an account is deleted, the content including the photos, metadata, comments, and everything else will stay on the servers for 90 days, but is no longer publicly accessible.  After that period, Flickr erases the data from their servers, ensuring a clean wipe of your information.  If an account is reactivated within 90 days of deletion, the content will still be in the account when it is restored.

If you want to restore a deleted account, you can send a message to Flickr’s support team and, if they can verify you as the account owner, restore the deleted account. If it has been less than 90 days, the data in the account will also be restored.

Holding Up To Hackers

There haven’t been any significant reports of individual users having their Flickr accounts hacked in the news.  The most recent mention of a hacking incident involving Flickr occurred in April 2013, when internet group Anonymous hacked into North Korea’s Flickr account to post images in protest against the country’s strict internet censorship policy.

New Apps On The Scene

Flickr provides users with the possibility to install applications developed by other users like them to enhance their experience with this service.  Flickr does not review these apps safety, although it provides some community guidelines, and entrusts the users to read carefully the user agreement before using third party applications and report anything suspicious.

Tracking Down Your Data

There are no specific tools available to help users of Flickr track the security of their information.  Flickr provides you instead with a variety of privacy controls to restrict the people who can access your account, interact with you and view the content you upload on your account.

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