You may not be Jennifer Lawrence or Kate Upton, or even know or care who those women are, but you should be aware of the latest “scandal” that included risqué photos of the pop stars and the good old cloud.
Over the Labor Day weekend, it was reported that nude photos of the high-profile celebrities were leaked online via the web forum, 4chan, by a “hacker” who was able to get into the celebrities’ personal phone storage and lift the photos from their cloud accounts. The hacker reportedly was looking to make some cash off the photos (although the identity of the hacker hasn’t been uncovered) and had made an announcement that there were more photos that would stay under wraps if he/she received PayPal donations.
Although some of these photos were said to be forgeries, representatives for Jennifer Lawrence and Mary E. Winstead confirmed their authenticity.
And so the web went wild with conjecturing how these photos went from the privacy of the celebrities’ homes and within their precious smartphones, to the World Wide Web for all to see.
The first guess? A hack into Apple’s iCloud (you know, just like the Cameron Diaz movie, Sex Tape). Apple rebutted the claim with a 40-hour investigation and explained that the hack was not a result of a flaw in iCloud of Find My iPhone systems.
So really, how did it happen? This still remains a mystery. But, what isn’t a mystery is the fact that we all need to pay much more attention to the information we carry and how we store our personal data that we want to keep personal.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Passwords should not be words. There are far too many passwords that can easily be stolen because they are simply words. The name of your dog, your kid, or your favorite teacher is NOT a good password. Passwords should be so complex that you cannot pronounce them and they should use a mix of symbols and numbers. If you can’t remember your password, it’s probably a good one.
- Watch your cloud backup. Yes, using the cloud as a backup for your information is a good idea, but you have to be sure you understand what is being sent to the cloud and how it is being protected. Check out a few online storage options to see which has the best security and protection, but always keep in mind that every option has a chance of being hacked.
- Use your device as a hard drive. We really do love and cherish our devices, so it’s understandable that we trust it almost more than we trust ourselves. The best way to ensure our phones remain trustworthy is to NOT back them up to the cloud and to ensure it is always password protected and locked when not in use. As a side note, avoid logging onto unsecured wireless networks.
While these tips may pretty simple, they may simply protect your personal information and prevent you from being hacked.
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