This past weekend was another painful reminder about how personal and private information can very quickly become neither. Most Internet surfers or social media users have come across the story about how 100 celebrities were hacked, and nude and embarrassing pics were released as a result.
According to a statement released by the FBI, the bureau is “aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter.”
The hackers gained access to the images (and in at least one case, a video) allegedly through a hole in Apple’s iCloud. The names of the celebrities and the associated pics are everywhere online—but sorry, not here. This is just a free public service announcement concerning you and your selfies.
If you ever take a photo or an image that you don’t want the entire world to see, don’t do it on a digital, wireless device, connected to an endless network and that constantly backs itself up.
The frustration is understandable—you should be able to take whatever pics you want and they should be kept privately and be totally controlled by you. But that’s not the reality. A horrible truth, yes, but a truth none the less.
Get a throw away camera, or a digital one with a removable memory card/chip so you can always be in control. Do not backup your files automatically unless you know what’s being shared. Use Snapchat and other “erase after sending” applications.
“Character is defined by what you do when you think no one is watching,” the old proverb goes, so use that concept every time you pick up your smartphone.