NEW DELHI: Facebook has introduced new security features for women using the social media platform in India, including the ability to prevent strangers from downloading their profile pictures, the company said Thursday.

Research by the social media giant found that some Indian women were reluctant to show their faces in their profile pictures, fearing the images could be misused.

In response, Facebook teamed up with local activists to develop two tools that offer women greater control over their profiles and "help keep them safe online," wrote product manager Aarati Soman on the company's blog.

The first safeguard -- identified by a small shield and blue border on the image -- prevents strangers from downloading, sharing or tagging themselves in someone else's profile picture, or taking a screen shot of the image.

The second overlays an additional design on the image that research shows dissuades people from making a copy of the image, Soman added.

Facebook plans to offer these tools in other countries based on what it learns in India.

"These tools will be available to both men and women as they continue to roll out more broadly," a Facebook spokesman told AFP.

Facebook has 184 million active monthly users in India, its second-largest market after the United States.