How to keep your naked selfies out of the reach of hackers

Oct 8, 2014 at 3:27 p.m. ET
Image: Linjay / Getty Images

In light of the recent iCloud hack that targeted Hollywood starlets, we asked Joe Siegrist, CEO of LastPass, a tech security service, how to hack proof your life’s most sensitive data. Here's what he had to say.

Steer clear of company WiFi

Even if you’re sending an email from your personal device or a personal email account, if it’s running on your employer’s Wi-Fi, they have access to it.

“There are companies that employ SSL interception proxies that essentially allow them to see everything that flows through their network,” Siegrist warns. “If you’re unsure whether or not your company employs interception proxies, and want to avoid the risk altogether, we recommend using your phone's mobile network and avoid using the company WiFi to increase your personal privacy.”

If what you’re sending or receiving isn’t something you want your boss to read, opt for your cell network connection. The extra data fees are nothing compared to having your employer know you’re sending out resumes to hustle up a new gig.

Amp up your lame passwords

Our passwords are the only thing between us and the hackers and we’re still using the same one across many, many accounts. Admit it. If someone gets their hands on that password in one spot, it’s a decent bet the same password will work across several—if not all—of your other password-protected data.

“Would any reasonable person use the same key for every lock - your house, your car, your storage unit, etc? No!” Siegrist adds. “And if you came across a person who did this, you would undoubtedly question their sanity.”

Mix up your passwords and make them complicated. There are apps and tools to help you keep track of all of those tricky passwords, a service Siegrist’s company offers.

Avoid the Cloud at all costs

Your data is pretty safe, as long as its not in the Cloud.

The recent iCloud hack is a prime example of how easily data can be poached when it’s stored on a server, rather than your device. Some devices like the Amazon Fire and iPhones have setting which automatically store a backup of your data in the Cloud. If you’re concerned, make sure you turn that off.

“Once your data is in the cloud all bets are off,” Siegrist says. “As we’ve seen lately, using and relying on the cloud can be very risky - you're relying on both the provider and the strength of your passwords—as well as the answers to your security questions—to protect you, and if one of these fails, it can be easy to access your stored information.”

Go old-school and get a Polaroid

Steal this tip from Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, and go old-school with your sexy selfies.

“Apart from using a Polaroid camera and storing those photos in a safe under your bed or tucked away in the foundation of your house, there’s really no safe way to take or store naked selfies,” Siegrist says. "Once the file has been stored, there's always the risk that it could get transferred to the cloud. We have recently seen how easy it can be to hack some clouds and wind up with naked photos plastered all over the Internet.”

Sorry ladies and gentlemen, looks like we all have to decide for ourselves: Am I a naked selfie person or not? Because those suckers can get out there if someone’s motivated enough to liberate them from your custody.

Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Here are a few more tips on hack proofing your life from SourceFed


More tech tips

Financial hackers affect more than just your pocketbook

3 Social media platforms for everyone who is sick of Facebook

6 Chores you can make the internet do for you