Published on September 3rd, 2014 | by admin
Don’t Get Caught with Your Pants Down: 9 Ways to Avoid Being Seen Naked on the Internet
Sydney, Australia, 3rd September 2014- Recent headlines of Hollywood celebrities’ nude photos leaking onto the Internet remind us of the privacy risks we face when we store personal data –particularly very personal data – on smart devices. If you want to enjoy the full versatility of your smartphone, but don’t want your private moments, bank account info or cellulite splashed all over the internet, follow these nine recommendations from Bitdefender:
- Avoid storing pictures locally on your laptop, smartphone or tablet. Smartphone theft is so common that, in the US, all devices are to be pre-equipped with anti-theft capabilities by next year.
- Keep secure backups on HDDs or other less portable devices to securely store your confidential and sensitive documents. Also make sure the hard drive is kept well away from an internet connection, as any Internet-connected device can be an open door for hackers at some point.
- Encrypt, encrypt, encrypt. It may seem an overhyped functionality, but making your data undecipherable to hackers is a strong defense. Android devices (Android Gingerbread 2.3.4 and newer versions) have an embedded full-device encryption feature, which can encrypt all data, including applications, downloaded files and pictures. For your hard drives, popular free tools are TrueCrypt and Windows Bitlocker. You can also try a file shredder utility such as the Bitdefender File Shredder to remove files quickly and permanently from your system. You can also opt for a file vault solution, such as Bitdefender File Vault, to create encrypted, password-protected logical drives (or vaults) on your computer.
- Protect your accounts, especially online storage accounts, with strong, complex passwords. Use symbols, numbers and capital letters or even strange phrases to lock your cloud content from prying eyes.
- Try to blur out your face on potentially compromising images. You wouldn’t want your risqué selfies to hit Twitter, Reddit or Facebook would you?
- Don’t email your private photos. Email accounts, especially those without two-factor authentication enabled, are easy targets for hackers looking to steal your personal details, intimate photos included.
- When you sell or lend your phone to a friend, format the memory card or internal memory and overwrite the data with a secure erase tool to make sure nothing remains.
- Don’t share confidential information on open Wi-Fi hotspots unless you use a proper mobile security solution to block unrequested connections. Hackers can monitor your traffic and obtain your banking credentials and compromising pictures without your knowledge. What’s more, a mobile security solution with an application audit functionality will warn you of risky apps that view your contact lists or photos and, as such, could leak the info to strangers.
- Disable auto-uploads for cloud storage solutions such as iCloud and Dropbox. These services, as useful as they may seem, create cloud-based versions of your images without filtering your most sensitive files from the harmless ones.