Facebook rolled out beta version of new security tool last year dubbed as Facebook Profile Picture Guard in India to prevent people from downloading or sharing your profile picture without your consent. The social media giant has now expanded the handy feature to other emerging countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Egypt.

Facebook Profile Picture Guard

Although profile picture is an important part of Facebook that enables others to find friends and create meaningful connections but people don’t feel free to share their original ones because of the fear that those may be used by someone with wrong intentions. According to Facebook’s research, some women choose not to share profile pictures that include their faces anywhere on the internet because they’re concerned about what may happen to their photos.

Facebook has launched a handy tool to cater the same fear. Now with Facebook Profile Picture Guard you have full control over who can download/share your profile pictures. You may also add a design to your profile picture to deter misuse. This privacy tool is already being widely used in India however people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Egypt can also enable and enjoy the extra layer of security on Facebook.

Nashwa Aly, Head of Policy, Middle East and Africa, Facebook says:

Profile pictures are an important part of building community on Facebook because they help people find friends and create meaningful connections. But not everyone feels safe adding a profile picture. In Pakistan, we’ve heard that people want more control over their profile pictures, and we’ve been working over the past year to understand how we can help. This launch is part of our ongoing commitment to keeping people safe online.

Nighat Dad, Digital Rights Foundation says:

Statistics from our Cyber Harassment Helpline, show that women are the most vulnerable when it comes to online safety in Pakistan. From fake profiles to doctored images to harassment, women face very real risks online. Facebook’s new Profile Picture Guard is a great tool to help women reclaim their online space. It will let women take control of their identities online and help them to start a larger discourse of countering online gendered harassment.

How to Enable Facebook Profile Picture Guard

Facebook users in Pakistan reported to receive a popup notification right below their profile picture when they open their Timeline. The notification comes with a small icon at the end that gives an option to “Turn On” the feature.


Tapping or clicking the link will start a step-by-step guide to enable an optional Facebook Profile Picture Guard. Once enabled, Facebook will display a blue border and shield around your profile picture as a visual cue of protection. You can also add unique design to your profile picture that is also helpful in deterring misuse.


Feel free to enjoy new controls on Facebook:

  • Facebook’s download and share features will be disabled for your profile picture.
  • People you’re not friends on Facebook won’t be able to tag anyone, including themselves, in your profile picture.
  • It will prevent Android devices from taking a screenshot of your profile picture on Facebook.
  • A blue border and shield around will be displayed around your profile picture as a visual cue of protection.