Your personal porn is public

stalker

The Internet is buzzing about celebrity nude photos pilfered from iCloud. The problem is bigger than Apple's security, if breached, which I doubt. Behavior is the larger concern, and how people adapt during the contextual cloud computing era. If your phone automatically syncs pictures or videos to any cloud service -- Google Photos, iCloud, OneDrive, or another -- you must assume that nothing is private.

That personal nude video you shoot on the HandyCam is very different from the one taken on Galaxy S5, iPhone 5s, or another device. I should be stating the obvious, but given pervasive attitudes about the Internet -- where people feel safe browsing in the sanctity of their domicile or WiFi coffee shop -- carelessness must be the presumption. These leaked celeb nudes, if real rather than Photoshopped, are good example. Simple rule: Don't shoot any photos or videos on a cloud-connected device you don't want everyone to see.

I've thought to write about this topic often, and yesterday's nude celebrity frenzy is good reason to do so now. Smartphones are very personal devices. We use them to connect to others, to collect memories, and to share things that matter with those with whom we feel closest. All of that can become public. That's the downside of cloud computing. Your stuff is only as safe as the security protecting it.

Given the number of security breaches, the disastrous OpenSSL exploit, and the means by which anyone can sniff your stuff -- like the open WiFi at Starbucks -- you can't assume anything on your personal device won't be made public.

For us peons there's not much to worry about. But celebs are a different matter. That paparazzi could be you snapping selfies or capturing that earth-shaking screw with your new lover.

The Guardian is likely correct asserting that Apple's iCloud likely wasn't hacked. The most-likely point of vulnerability is you. I see Millennials passing around their phones -- and access to stuff -- all the time. Your friend whom you let access Facebook or iCloud account becomes a point of vulnerability, even if not deliberately. What if they're hacked or phished, for example, and your credentials are pilfered? What if they see your nude and quickly email a copy to themselves? Hell, what if you email, where it remains synced to your Sent folder?

There are lots of scenarios by which what's personal becomes public, when stored on a cloud-connected device or when what's private syncs to an online service. "Don't share your device" is a good rule, particularly if a celeb. Go through the hassle of using two-step verification, which I have on all my important accounts. Use a passcode on your device, and for iPhone 5s Apple provides a fingerprint reader. For a reason.

But most importantly, don't shoot nudes on your phone or other cloud-syncing device unless you want to risk them becoming public. You don't need to be a celeb to have enemies or angry exes, who see spreading your naked ass all over the Internet to be worth any reprisals. The elephant never forgets, and the Internet's memory is longer once people start sharing something. Be smart.

Photo Credit: Arman Zhenikeyev/Shutterstock

© 1998-2014 BetaNews, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.