I’m not you’re mother, so I am not here to give you a lecture. I can almost hear my dear ol’ mom at the moment–surely she’d have something to say about all the trouble that people are getting into at the hands of modern technology. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely been made painfully aware of the possible breech in iCloud security or more likely a hack into the system. Various celebs most private photos suddenly became very public, and wow, was this ever a wake up call to the world. In these crazy times where it seems we are all addicted to technology, selfies, photo apps and social media, we must all also accept the fact that these things put together can create a recipe for potential disaster. As we saw recently, that Cloud can quickly turn into a gale force hurricane, literally turning your life upside down. What’s a girl to do? Learn some things from this debacle and make yourself safer.
Check Your Settings. Even if you are a “snap and then delete” kinda gal, you have to understand that depending on your phone’s settings, some Cloud services will whisk your data off to be stored within its cloudiness as soon as the photo is taken. If you later delete the photo off your phone, it’s not necessarily deleted from the Cloud. The only way to make absolute sure that the deleted pic is not on the Cloud, is to go and manually check and see if its still lurking there, and then delete it there. The most obvious solution (especially if you are habitually taking a lot of compromising pics) is to make sure your settings do NOT automatically upload your pictures to the Cloud. This simple setting change could potentially save you a lot of headaches. You must be aware, however, that you will obviously lose the convenience of having your other photos automatically taken to the Cloud. This means that unless you put the pics in the Cloud yourself, they will not be there–which could potentially be very tragic if your phone becomes damaged, lost or stolen. This is one of those times when you definitely have to weigh the pros and cons. Backing up your phone to your computer on a regular basis is a good place to start if you decide to keep your pics out of the Cloud.
Once the word was out about the iCloud hack or security breech, a lot of people got nervous–not just you and me. Over 35% of iCloud users changed their security settings or altered their account in some way after this occurrence–so to say that the people at large were freaking out is kind of an understatement. Cloud services are still fairly new and many folks are still learning the ropes and trying to gain a better understanding of how they work. When a very public security breech occurs, it changes the way many of us feel about our security. We all have private data–and it goes far beyond sexy selfies. Any of us could just as easily have medical information, personal correspondence, financial papers, etc. that could be a concern if it’s up in the Cloud.
Passwords or Passphrases: Make sure your passwords (or better yet passphrases) are very strong. Mix your phrases with capital letters, numbers and characters. Change your passphrases every six months or so. Having a strong passphrase will give you one more layer of security. The truth is, (as has been so painfully illustrated recently) there is no such thing as a 100% safe Cloud. If you have pictures or data that is highly sensitive, potentially devastating, embarrassing or compromising if stolen, it probably doesn’t belong in the Cloud. The security of the Cloud is really in someone else’s hands (not yours)–so don’t leave things that are important to you at risk.