Safer way to access image folder than 777 Permission

Hi For my photos to be uploaded to my drupal website and to show on the web pages

I have to change all my file and image folders to 777 permission which seems a bit of a security risk

Any suggestions?

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Can I do it the same way as wordpress?

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data ~/wordpress/


sudo chown -R www-data:www-data ~/sites/defaults/files/images

JonsJava what is facl?

I somewhat agree with @JonsJava , But since most of the Drupal content managers would need to upload/delete the static assets and they use FTP for it. So we should have to allow access to both web server user and the FTP user to have full access to the upload directory. Hope i clarified my answer.