Tuesday 15 October 2019

7 ways to protect your iPhone photos

Frank Whelan

In light of the recent spate of leaked celebrity photos, allegedly taken from their iCloud accounts, we look at how best to keep your photos safe.

1. Make sure you delete your photos from the iCloud, not just your phone

Removing a photo from your camera roll only deletes it from the camera roll. If it is already on your iCloud Photo Stream it will remain intact. The same goes for your Photo Stream and Shared Photo Stream, each stores the photo independently.

In order to delete the photo from iCloud, you need to delete the photo from your camera roll and then perform an iCloud Backup. This will sync your iCloud to your camera roll and the photo will be removed.

2. Use a unique password

The 128-bit AES iCloud encryption is strong and unlikely to be the weak link. What could lead you to trouble is using the same password in multiple places. Your iCloud account may be secure, but if you use the same password to log in to a less secure platform that is an easier target for hackers, this can be the big chink in your armour.

3. Be careful with free wi-fi

Wi-fi is taken for granted by many people, but how secure is the network you're connected to? It is very easy to give a wi-fi network a legitimate-sounding name and wait for unsuspecting users to join. Once on their network, there are a number of ways hackers can retrieve passwords. Again, it may not be your encrypted data, but weaker links are there to exploit. Again, use different passwords.

4. Don't trust a computer you're unfamiliar with

When you plug your phone in to a computer to charge, it will ask if you trust the computer. Do you? Your phone can still charge on an untrusted computer, but trusting a compute allows it to access your contacts and photos.

5. Use Two-step verification

It may seem like a pain and takes a minute or two extra now and again, but two-step verification is a great way to foil any hacking attempts. When activated, any new device will have to be authenticated before it can log-on to your service, even if it uses the correct password. This means that someone needs to have your phone or device.

6. Be careful who you share photos with

It's common sense, but make sure you're confident that you can trust the person you're sending your photos too. Apart from the possibility of maliciously sharing photos if things don't go to plan, there's also the risk that their online security isn't up to scratch.

7. Wipe old devices before getting rid of them

Make sure you wipe the memory of old phones, even if they no longer work. A broken screen won't stop someone from plugging the phone in to a suitable connection and going to work on your encrypted data. The same goes for any old laptops or tablets.

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