At one point or another, we’ve all been guilty of the occasional nude snapshot. Whether it be the much maligned dick pic or a photo of a pair of voluptuous breasts. Dudes and dames alike have partaken of the shameless acts of voyeurism and exhibitionism that characterize these heady times, which is why I’m here to tell you—keep that shit locked up!
First, let me dispense some old-fashioned advice, the kind a chill teacher or cool aunt/uncle might tell you. If you don’t want some pimply Russian hacker laying his grubby talons on your racy images, don’t take any! I know, I know, practical advice, but not the most realistic.
Seriously though, info sec (information security) professionals will tell you that the best way to protect those explicit digital images is to not have them. Stick to polaroids.
But, if, like me, you have a rebellious streak and prefer to do what you want, best advice be damned, there are a couple nifty apps out there that’ll keep your erotica on the DL.
Private Photo Vault is a free app that’s available for all iOS devices. Besides providing a PIN lock for uploaded photos you want to protect, it has a “break-in report,” which will photograph whoever was trying to access your albums and provide you with their GPD coordinates. Plus, its nifty “decoy password” will launch a different set of pictures, fooling any would-be peeping Toms.
For Android, there’s Gallery Lock (also a free, though ads are included). With similar offerings to Private Photo Vault, Gallery Lock operates in stealth mode, so you can’t see its icon. Upon a third failed password attempt, the app’s “Watchdog” setting will automatically have your phone’s camera take a photo of the invader.
Plenty of smartphones also have built-in privacy settings. Samsung, for instance, has its own “Private Mode”, which allows you to tap any photos you’d like to hide and toggle password, PIN, fingerprint, or pattern protection. iPhone offers a “Hide” setting, which removes images from your “Moments, Collections and Years” section. Be careful though, those same images will still be in your albums section…
Beyond all the apps and security settings, you can MacGyver your own info sec techniques, too. For instance, couch your nude selfies in a labyrinthine assortment of subfolders or crop them so that your previews don’t appear too risqué. And don’t back-up your nudies on the cloud! Clouds can be hacked for nudes – just look at the Jennifer Lawrence leak.
While implementing these strategies will go a long way to securing your private information, keep in mind that none of them are sure things. If someone is absolutely determined to get at your private information (i.e you’re someone famous, or someone sexy as hell), there are ways for them to go about doing it. Also, it’s worth noting that these methods protect your phone and yours alone. If you send images out to lovers (or strangers), you no longer have control over their security, or where they end up. That’s why you should practice safe sexting, always.