You need not be a celebrity or some big wig to suffer the devastating fallout of your online images (and videos) being stolen or used without your permission.
- Hacking is one way, especially if passwords are weak and the answers to security questions can easily be figured out (e.g., “Name of your first pet,” and on your Facebook page there’s a picture of you: “My very first dog, Snickers”).
- Malware can be installed on your device if the operating system, browser or security software is out of date.
- But hackers may also get into a cloud service depending on their and your level of security.
- In 2014, the images of celebrities and others were stolen from their iCloud accounts. At the time, two factor authentication was not available to consumers.
- Apple did not take responsibility, claiming that the hackers guessed the passwords of the victims. This is entirely possible as many use the same passwords for multiple accounts. It is reported that Jennifer Lawrence’s and Kate Upton’s passwords really were123qwe and Password1, respectively.
- Got a pretty avatar for your Facebook page? Do you realize how easy it is for someone to “Save image as…”?
- Yup, someone could right-click on your provocative image, save it and use it for some sex site.
- And it’s not just images of adults being stolen. Images of children have been stolen and posted on porn sites.
- Stolen photos are not always racy. A stolen image could be of an innocent child smiling with her hands on her cheeks.
- The thief doesn’t necessarily post his loot on porn or sex sites. It could be for any service or product. But the point is: Your image is being used without your authorization.
- Kids and teens and of course adults are sending sexually explicit images of each other via smartphone. These photos can end up anywhere.
- Applications exist that destroy the image moments after it appears to the sender.
- These applications can be circumvented! Thus, the rule should be never, ever, ever send photos via smartphone that you would not want your fragile great-grandmother or your employer to view.
How can you protect your digital life?
- Long, strong passwords—unique for every single account
- Change your passwords regularly.
- Firewall and up-to-date antivirus software
- Make sure the answers to your security questions can’t be found online.
- If any of your accounts have an option for two-factor authentication, then use it.
- Never open attachments unless you’re expecting them.
- Never click links inside e-mails unless you’re expecting them.
Stay tuned to Part 2 of How to prevent your Pics from being lifted to learn more.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- How to prevent your Pics from being lifted: Part 2 of 2
There are many reasons someone might right-click on your image and “Save image as…” Porn, Sex and Dating Sites A woman might steal your blog headshot and use it for her dating site profile. A perv might take the picture of your child off your Facebook page and put it on a porn site. A person who runs a
- What is the Cloud?
You’ve probably heard of people storing information in “the cloud,” but what does that really mean, and is it safe to put your data there? The cloud is best described as a network of servers offering different functions. Some servers allow you to store and access data, while others provide an online service. You may be
- Removing Location data from Mobile Pics
Those cutesy photos in your phone of your puppy can reveal your location because the images leave footprints leading straight to your home. The trace data is called EXIF: exchangeable image file format. It may contain GPS coordinates of where you took the photos. Apple’s and Google’s smartphones ask owners if it’s okay to access their
- Expect all Free Mobile Apps to leak your Data
Mashable.com says that recently over 98,000 photos have been leaked from Snapsaved.com, which has shut down. The Snapchat app makers won’t take any credit, even though previously, 4.7 million phone numbers and usernames were leaked. The company seems indifferent, though this May, they reached a settlement with the FTC. Snapchat blames third-party sites and apps for
- 5 Online Security Tips You need to know
It’s up to the potential victim—the user—YOU—to make your computer or smartphone very difficult for Joe Hackster to infiltrate. Passwords Being that cyber crime has been a fixture of modern living for over a decade, you’d think that everyone and his brother would know to use strong, long passwords, and a different password for each account. But