Don’t let your private pictures go viral

The Internet is fraught with growing risk

If you’re a Millennial, it’s likely

We see regular news reports of trolls hacking the private photos of celebrities. It is possible–but difficult–to remove such pictures from the Internet once uploaded (Google’s new revenge porn policy is a step in the right direction). The problem is that if anyone downloads those private pics onto a digital device before an Internet purge, they can be uploaded again anytime they please. Most folks have some photos they want to keep private–pics ranging from unflattering to felonious. –I’m a Boomer, have never taken risky pics, so should have no basis for concern (though x-rated photoshopped pics are a remote possibility for any of us). However, if you’re a Millennial, it’s likely that you and your peers have taken many smartphone pics in many settings/situations. This may include sensitive pics you never intend for general distribution. –If you have such pictures, it’s by far safest to remove them immediately.

To ensure you remain safe, remember the following–

  • Love Can Quickly Devolve into Hate

You’re experiencing the euphoria of a new relationship. So what’s the harm taking a few private pics? You send them copies (or they take the pics themselves). Then, as suddenly as the relationship began, it ends and things turn ugly. There are so many devastating stories of revenge porn ending careers and decimating personal lives. Yes, Google now supports the removal of such links and an increasing number of states are enacting laws against perpetrators. (No surprise that this has triggered a backlash among those who believe such legislation is too imprecise, that it violates free speech rights, etc.).

  • Photo streaming Your Pics Can Backfire

Both Apple and Android phones allow you to synch photos across all devices. What could go wrong? A lot… Imagine the chill at your next family holiday meal after everyone has seen revealing pics of you that you accidentally synched and distributed to everyone in a careless moment. Your Snapshot Pics May Not Disappear Many folks believe that it’s completely safe to send revealing pics via Snapchat. They self-destruct after a set time period. Right? Not necessarily… Don’t forget, most smart devices allow for permanent screenshot captures. In addition, a ‘friend’ could take a picture of the screen with another digital device before a pic dissolves.

  • Lock or Wipe Your Phone Remotely if Lost/Stolen

PIN codes can be a pain, but they protect you from thieves who want to access your personal information, including private pictures. Fortunately, both Apple and Android phones allow you to lock and/or wipe your phone remotely. Consider Using One of the Many Photo Privacy Tools There are a number of photo privacy tool apps that allow you to move any sensitive photos from your smartphone camera rolls for safekeeping into a private picture vault. Though it’s safest not to have any such pics to begin with, especially on a portable device, such apps at least prevent folks who may be looking at your smartphone photos from seeing anything you would have trouble explaining…

  • Breaking News on Swinger/Cheater Website Breaches

Today (Monday, 20 July, 2015) a group of activist hackers breached Ashley Madison, a site dedicated to helping married people cheat on their spouses. The group threatens to release information about millions of customers if the site is not shut down. The follows a similar breach in March hitting more than 3.5 million of Adult FriendFighter’s reported 64 million members. Included in the exposed personal information are customers’ email addresses, usernames, passwords, birthdays and zip codes, in addition to their sexual preferences.

  • The Internet is fraught with growing risk. Be careful!