People have been using nude photos to turn up the heat in the bedroom since the first camera was invented. Such images and videos are a fun, safe and often naughty way to spark a partner’s imagination—you’ve heard of “taking a picture to make it last longer,” right? Now, you’ve got one floating around on your smartphone, you lucky dog, you. However, there are some very serious, very real reasons you’ll want to keep your new nude safe and to yourself.
When they’re lost or stolen, it becomes a gross invasion of one’s privacy. Gabrielle Union, the wife of Dwyane Wade, fired shots Sunday at the hackers who recently released such photographs of her and many other celebrities as part of an online image dump known as “The Fappening.” On her honeymoon, no less. Let’s be clear—if somebody accesses private photos without their owner’s permission, it is the fault of none other than the criminal or hacker breaking into their files. And yes, it is absolutely a crime. However, there are a few safeguards against it happening to you or someone you know, so pay attention.
Original photo: Lies Thru a Lense/Flickr/Creative Commons
Don’t leave your device unattended
Unless you’re a high-profile target, it’s unlikely that you’ll be hacked in a fashion similar to the celebs in the aforementioned incident. However, all “hacking” starts by exploiting the weakest link in the system: human nature. An unattended phone or laptop without a password can be quickly accessed by a creep when you’re not looking. Likewise, if your device is lost or stolen, it doesn’t take much to break in whether you have a PIN set up or not.
Keep it in the bedroom
Again, you’re not a celebrity, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become a target. As playful as it is alluding to our private lives on social media and in public realms, such activity can catch the attention of a would-be thief. There’s also the temptation to share a steamy photo—just for a second!—with your buddy. Unfortunately, human nature dictates that every copy made is another potential leak waiting to happen. The existence of nude images should be kept solely between you and their sender.
Check your connectivity
When we take a photo, we don’t just take one. Copies may be sent to Instagram, Facebook, the Apple iCloud, connected devices, some other backup server that’s connected to the web—you get the picture. Thoroughly check your phone or camera’s settings before snapping a pic, and you should have most of your bases covered. That said, going analogue with actual film isn’t the worst idea. Plus, some people consider it art.
The problem with telling people that they shouldn’t take nude photos at all is that, when they leak or are stolen, it puts the blame on the victim. Frankly, that doesn’t jive with us. So here we go: if taking nudes is your thing in the bedroom, do whatever you damn well please. However, there’s no way to stop a motivated individual from committing a crime, so you may want to reconsider asking your girlfriend for that sexy snap. That’s because it is very difficult to completely delete a photograph, even if it never gets onto the ‘net—deleted files continue to haunt a hard drive until they’re overwritten.
Want to make sure they’re gone? Here are guides for Android and iPhone users who want to ensure they’ve deleted all traces of an image.