How to protect your private photos, videos, and information from online leaks
Knowing how to keep your data secure online is one of the most important things to know in this digital age. A lot of us become complacent because of the convenience technology offers, that we forget to take extra measures to secure our data against online leaks.
Unless you have absolutely nothing to hide (hence, a very cautious or boring life), you should know how to protect yourself from people who want to do something dastardly to you.
How do leakers get into your data?
There are different ways for hackers to get into your accounts. Here are some ways:
- They steal your devices and try to crack them while in their possession. This is doubly dangerous if they got access not only to your phone, but also your computer and other devices.
- They hack into your online accounts to hijack your account and gain access.
- They extract files from a backup of your account where it’s been stored.
- They impersonate you using your own credentials against you, most probably gleaned through nefarious means. They could have employed apps, devices, or good old snooping on how you type your passwords or answer your security questions.
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So how do you protect yourself from people with nefarious goals when it comes to your personal data?
The truth is, if someone truly wanted to get into the information, photos, videos, and other data you have, they just need a lot of time and money. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy. The harder you make it for them to access your photos, the less attractive (and profitable) the prospect will be.
Here are some ways to keep your personal photos, videos, and information as secure as they can be:
- Use two-factor authentication. Take the few minutes to set up a mobile phone, alternate email address or login device and token to lock your account. Adding another layer to your login process makes things undoubtedly more difficult (but not impossible) for hackers.
- Do not send sensitive material over normal chat apps and messaging services. These won’t get encrypted and can easily be seen by people handling the network or system.
- Change your passwords regularly. A change of password every few months can protect you from large data leaks where hackers target the company holding your information instead of you.
- Do not automatically sync your photos with the cloud. You can change these in settings for Apple iCloud or Google Drive.
- If you need to send sensitive information, photos, or videos, do so using special apps that encrypt messages or are locked between you and one recipient only. Some of these types of apps are Signal, Telegram, and Threema.
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But what do you do when your private information has been leaked?
Still, if someone really wanted to get to your photos, what can you do? You can ask the person who has posted the photos to take them down. If they won’t, you can go to the web hosting services and notify them of the photo leak.
There is simply no other way to stop an information or media leak unless you go to every single place that the media has been posted and ask the people who posted it to take it down. You can hire a lawyer who can facilitate this sort of process.