The buzz this weekend was about a massive hack where an unknown person hacked into the accounts of at least 100 celebrities, then leaked their personal photos online. Just because you're not a celebrity and don't have nude photos stored on your mobile devices doesn't mean you're safe from hackers.
While it's easy to sit back and say that somehow these celebrities deserve this type of treatment, keep in mind that these accounts were private.
If a hacker can get into their accounts for pictures, of course they can access personal information, text messages and even e-mails you don't want anyone to see because this was likely a breach of their iCloud accounts. The iCloud and other servers store your data for you. What you have in there depends on the settings you select. Just because you've deleted something from your phone or tablet doesn't mean it's gone.
"Even if you have deleted photos from your phone, oftentimes they've already been uploaded into the cloud," says USC Professor Clifford Neuman. "When you delete them from your phone, they continue to exist."
It's all about your settings. What do you have that's automatically being uploaded to the cloud? Or Dropbox?
The easiest thing to do is go into your settings and turn off that automatic sync. Beyond that, it's about account protection. Make sure your passwords are difficult to figure out. While it can be confusing at times to include numbers and special characters in your password, those things do make your account more secure. Also, keep different passwords for all your accounts.
Yes, it's hard to remember 10 different passwords sometimes, but it's better than giving a hacker easy access to multiple accounts.
Finally, if you get rid of a phone or tablet, wipe it clean. Do a full factory reset. If you must keep personal documents and photos on your devices, use an encrypted file.
For more ways to protect yourself and turn off automatic streams, check out this article.