Are you blacking out sensitive information from screenshots the right way?

Weather you are using a screenshot with sensitive information in your SOPs or marketing, it is incredibly important to make sure you properly redact the sensitive information from the image. 

Below is what you need to know in order to properly redact information from an image/screenshot.

Do NOT use marker / markup tools

So many people do not realize this, but if you use the marker in the markup tools via your image editor on your phone or computer, anyone can download your image and with 1 or 2 adjustments of the Brightness/Contrast the sensitive information is revealed.

The marker tool is programmed to simulate an actual marker or highlighter. When you use the marker tool the digital “ink” is applied with less than 100% opacity. This means that the text pixels can still be identified under the marker “ink”.

Option 1 - Overlay Shapes

One of the easiest ways to redact information from an image file is to use a basic photo editor and overlay the sensitive information with a shape. Helpful Tips:

  • Make sure the shape is set to 100% Opacity (or 0% transparency)
  • Make sure to save the final image in a format that does not support layers. PNGs and JPEGs are both file formats that do not support layers meaning they are flat.

Option 2 - Delete or Remove Pixels

Using a basic photo editor, select the pixels you want to redact and press delete.

  • Make sure to save the final image in a format that does not support edit history. Good formats include PNGs and JPEGs.