How to Protect Your Digital Photos Against Hackers

Do you automatically back up all of your phone photos on a cloud? Or are you someone who is suspicious of such storage services and keeps all of their photos in a memory card? No one really wants to have their photos hacked, so it is only natural that we tend to choose seemingly the most secure photo storage option. But have you really ever gone through the list of things you can do to protect personal photos against hacking? No? Well, you're in luck because it is exactly what we're going to do in this blog entry. So buckle up and check out the list below.

1. Secure Your Phone

We have been lulled into a false sense of security because the general understanding is that laptops and desktop computers are far more prone to malware infections than mobile devices. Perhaps that was the case in the early 2000s, but not so much anymore. Mobile devices can be easily infected and exploited by hackers. It's just that the infection takes a different route, compared to the one that they take when they attack a desktop computer. And if a dangerous infection enters your mobile device, hacked photos would probably be the least of your worries.

So how do we prevent that? We can secure our phones by employing the best mobile security apps. You can find a collection of security apps on both the Apple Store and Google Play Store. There's Avira Mobile Security for iPhone and Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus for Android devices, to name just a few.

Aside from using reliable security apps, you should remember to keep all of your mobile software up to date. Outdated software is easier to hack, so even if automated updates could be a little bit annoying, please keep that feature on. It will definitely help you secure your phone.

2. Avoid Suspicious Apps

If we have to watch what we eat to be healthy, we most definitely have to watch what we install on our phones to avoid photo hacks, and what not. We have talked about fake mobile apps on our blog before, and to give you the main gist of that article, here are the few things you always have to keep in mind when you are about to install a new mobile app:

  • Permissions. If an app requires a lot of permissions that are not related to its functions, it could be a scam.
  • Description. Shady apps often have half-assed descriptions. If they come with spelling and grammar mistakes in the app description, that's a major red flag.
  • Source. It is vital to download apps only from the official sources. Sometimes users download apps from third-party sources because of regional restrictions, but that is not safe, and it could lead to more than just a photo hack.
  • Reviews.Reviews are a good indicator of an app's credibility, but even that can be forged, so you might want to look over a few reviews before installing a new app. Do not trust the review count alone.

3. Strong Passwords

If you are using a cloud service to store your photos and other personal data, you should definitely use strong passwords because a strong password is essential if you want to protect personal photos against hacking. We have talked about strong passwords multiple times before, but seeing how the lists of the most popular passwords are still dominated by terrible excuses for security tokens, we might as well talk about it again.

We do believe that creating strong passwords is a tedious task. Even if you do not want your photos hacked, coming up with a unique password for every single account you have (because you cannot reuse them!) can be too demanding.

That is why we would like to recommend using Cyclonis Password Manager. This free product is intended for a desktop computer, but it comes with a password generator that you can use to create strong and unique passwords for your mobile accounts, too. After all, you can access such cloud services as Google Drive both on mobile and desktop device, so a password manager could be quite useful here.

4. Multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication is the hottest trend in the security world right now. Every respectable service out there will urge their customers to enable this type of authentication to secure individual accounts. If your cloud service offers multi-factor authentication, you should enable it immediately because that would surely save the trouble of hacked photos in the future. With this authentication enabled, along with your password, you would have to enter a temporary passcode that you receive via text message every time to log into your account.

Which also brings us to another important aspect of cyber security: Do not forget to log out. Automatic login features are definitely convenient, but they also present a variety of security threats. Therefore, when you are done working with your cloud storage, log out before you close the app or the window. Logging out makes it harder for scammers to hack into your account.

5. Avoid Phishing Scams

Our last tip is relevant not only when you try to protect your photos from being hacked. This is an essential part of cyber security. We receive multiple spam emails every single day, and those emails come with outgoing links. Clicking those links is a bad idea because phishing mails either steal personal information or infect users with malware.

Therefore, do not interact with an email message if you do not recognize the sender. Sometimes phishing emails come with a message that seems to be urgent, but there is nothing legitimate about it. Check out our entry on phishing emails and how to recognize them to find out more.

The bottom line is that if we know the basics of cyber security, we can apply that knowledge in almost every aspect of our cyber lives. Although it is impossible to protect our information 100%, at the end of the day, we can feel more at ease when we know we have done everything we can to secure our data.

January 29, 2019

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