How to prevent hackers from stealing your personal photos online - | WBTV Charlotte

How to prevent hackers from stealing your personal photos online

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Imagine if your private photos were put online for the world to see. This happened to dozens of celebrities over the weekend after hackers apparently stole from a cloud backup service.

Experts say there's no reason to stop storing your photos on the cloud.

The data stored there is encrypted both on the server and when it is sent from your device to the server.

The source of the hacked images has not been confirmed but hackers can tap into your shared photos.

"Photo Stream is once you put a photo on iCloud it's accessible on all your devices," said Best Buy Wireless Sales Consultant Keyan Riddick.

"I'm guessing that a hacker can then go in and somehow retreat the photos since they are being shared."

Riddick says hackers most likely cracked a user's password which would give them access an entire Shared Photo Stream.

Which bring us to an important point, password strength or lack of it.

"Using special characters such as exclamations points, hash tags, numbers instead of letters is also a good way to make your password more secure," recommends Riddick.

Also, put in a four digit verification code on your phone as an added extra-layer of protection.

Now if you are storing pictures or videos there's one thing you might be doing that could make you a hacker target you.

"Automatically upload your pictures photos and other content to the cloud."

It's important to know that certain cameras and other services including Dropbox and Google plus can automatically upload videos.

Riddick recommends turning off the automatic backup services offered by your provider.

You can also disable Photo stream- this will delete any automatically stored pictures from iCloud.

Here's another way to keep your photos safe.

"Make sure the cloud storage that you select for that to be secured and then for whatever connection you're uploading your content on for that to be secured," says Riddick.

Apple, Dropbox and Google all offer "Two factor authentication" - which combines your password with a pin number either sent to your phone in a text, or created by an app on your phone.

It means anyone wanting to steal your password would have to steal your phone as well as guess or crack your password.

It can be inconvenient, but definitely worth doing if you want to use cloud storage safely.

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