'Don't Take Nude Selfies' Is Not Good Security Advice (Op-Ed)

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rantoc

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Dec 17, 2009
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Like any data breach... dont store sensitive data unencrypted - Its just stupid, no matter if its a celeb wimmen or some credit card company....

Unencrypted data = Data at risk - If you weant to gamble... be prepared to reap what is sown!
 

cats_Paw

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Hmm, I am a bit confused.
Of course the hackers are the responsible party, and because of that, if they are arrested they will probably do jail time. (Thats blame).
On the other side, when people who dont understand the threat of technology (in this case securing their private photos), and yet use that technology, this happens.

However Is this really so important? These pictures will be forgotten in 3 months by 99% of the population. The remaining 1% will forget it by the end of this year most likely.

 

Johnpombrio

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I don't buy it. If you are in the public spotlight, everything you say or do will come back to haunt you. A celebrity does not have the luxury of privacy, it is part of the contract of being a celebrity. Endless gossip, paparazzi, and having your life scrutinized is inevitable. Having people walking into your home or hacking your computer is obviously not OK but it does happen. That is why most famous people have good security in their homes and good security on their financial accounts. They need good security on their computers and smartphones as well, better than less tempting targets. I would assume most of them could afford spending a few hundred dollars on getting help protecting themselves online. If they decide that they are OK or do not bother to do so, the risk is theirs to take.
 

plasmastorm

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Taking nude selfies is bad security? Nope, being famous is bad security, nobody knows if you have nude selfies or not till they get into your account so what's in the account makes no difference.
 

palladin9479

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Why in the hell does Toms have social justice orientated articles? This isn't a place to express social, political or moral views, it's a tech site dedicated to technology and how we use and interact with it.

Using weak, guessable passwords is a security vulnerability which knows nothing of the gender of the user. It's not misogyny to recommend people to use strong complex passwords that are not expressions of your personal information. And yes if someone guess's your password via dictionary attack and then proceeds to steal your personal data, you do bear responsibility for the security of that information.

Finally on the whole "don't put nudes on the web" angle, this is a part of the universal security advice that you should never, under any circumstance, store sensitive information on a medium that you don't physically control. Without physical security you have no network security and it doesn't matter if it's bank statements, financial documents, trade secrets or explicit media, none of those should be stored on a medium accessibly from the internet. So my advice to all, as an industry expert, is to never store any sensitive material on any medium accessible from the internet, and if someone chooses to do so then they bear the blame for the consequences of that decision. The person's gender has no relevance to this statement.
 

grumpigeek

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People are far more stupid than I thought.

Any celebrity who stores nude photos of themselves online is just asking for trouble.

 

frozentundra123456

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Take all the nude selfies you want. JUST DONT STORE THEM IN THE CLOUD. Totally, unbelievably stupid. I just cant express how astounded I am that major celebrities would do this, since they must know how badly hackers would want these pictures. Didnt they ever hear of local storage?
 

koss64

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This article is seeking to excuse the behaviour of these starlets which is reprehensible and i cant believe someone would really sit down and dry to defend it. The question must be asked why did these pictures even exist in the first place.Dont get me wrong im not absolving the criminals as quite frankly they are reprehensible and dastardly and need to be caught.This incident however due to its "high profile"(as i dont beleive that they are better than anybody else) nature has brought into sharp focus that security in the online age cant be buisiness as usual(the point i hear no one talking about) and a drastic change in how we do buisiness online has to come sooner rather than later. Point is though as the saying goes "The higher the monkey climbs the more he is exposed" the more a society stands up for slackness the more it sinks into anarchy.
 

Nossy

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So if someone hacks the bank where you keep your money and steals all the money, do you blame yourself or the bank? If someone breaks into your house, it's your fault for not using better locks? If you get raped while looking hot and sexy, it's your fault. Geez, I have no faith in humanity at this point. Soon it's gonna be a mess like Mad Max.
 

koss64

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I'm with the "Don't take nude selfies and upload them" crowd. However, another commenter beat me to it. Don't post anything you want to get out. I do blame the victim a little bit, but at the same time, yes, it's hacking job.

Part of it is education. Would the general public expect some of these large companies to get data leaked out? Sony? Target? Home Depot? Microsoft didn't point fingers and go "Ha ha!" at Sony when they get hacked because they know that it could happen to them!

And holy shit are companies getting hacked left and right. At the same time, holy shit are companies we know are getting hacked are getting hacked. There's probably more that we don't know that are. Some of the hacks aren't because of an IT department or a developer missing a check. They are because someone sabotaged some equipment.

There's a story on Reddit where a teenager sent out naked pictures of herself because it made her feel sexy. She says later, as an adult, someone contacted her saying something like "You don't want those images to get out, do you?" It turns out that the boy got charged with child pornography. The woman still felt terrible from the ordeal.

The stuff you upload is on a server. Even if the data on the server gets encrypted, there is no guarantee that it would stay that way. Software has a ton of layers, and each can be breached. Companies can only try their best
I agree anyone telling you they have a lock that cant be broken, take your buisiness elsewhere. Companies want to embrace the cloud but(and quite rightly so) have serious concerns about security.
 

f-14

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......... you know you did backup or store your data online or in the cloud. .... Nothing online is private, or secure.
.... if it's stored on the cloud, you're trusting someone else's security, not just your own.
herein lies the problem, apple removes all choice about the cloud, and once it's online, it's FOREVER. and yes apple got hacked and they are seriously trying to deny this, the cloud is raining, and it's raining all your dirty little secrets.

CLOUD FAIL STRIKES AGAIN should be the title.

when it comes to the internet, TRUST NO ONE. one of the pillars in any relationship is trust, trust is earned, not to be given freely or lightly. i can't tell you how many times i've been burned trusting that some one having anything to do with the internet has let me down, from governments, to employers, to friends and family and even to people in other countries or on the other side of the planet to have certain standards and morals worthy of civilization and society and so far as i have been checking, i've always been let down on what can be expected or trusted when the internet is involved.

people need to first acknowledge that a person's private data is that person's private data, and that "don't take nude selfies" is neither good advice nor appropriate commentary.
this authors first mistake is assuming her data or any one elses for that matter are sacred and private, a reasonable mistake. snowden has already proven her wrong, the paparazzi in europe, london even more specifically have proven she is dead wrong. facebook...myspace.... it's even in their terms of service, everything you put on their webpages is THEIR PROPERTY.
put it this way, if some one can profit from anything you've done, they will, this is the one thing you can trust in the online world i have continuously found time after time to the point it's practically fact.
once your data is on the internet it's FOREVER and once your data is on the internet it's no longer yours. you've shared it with others, and others will do with it what they want, or even against their will by far more people with power beyond anything you imagined. NSA is nothing, they are pretty nice infact compared to other world governments who force data from internet companies and then black mail you with it or worse.

if it connects to the internet, consider it public data from that point on. the internet is the market place bazaar and everything is for sale. EVERYTHING.
 

d_kuhn

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It is an individuals responsibility to protect their important data... it doesn't matter if it's banking info or personal photos. While I think companies that provide 'secure' storage services and then don't protect our information do bear some responsibility (and I'm just waiting for the lawsuits to start testing that, I'm sure it's coming), the fact is... individuals need to follow due diligence in understanding the risks of trusting data to someone else. I personally would not store anything sensitive online.
 

shakingbrave

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You are correct it is an invasion of privacy, theft, and generally a crappy thing to happen. However, the average person is living in a dream world if they don't acknowledge putting that stuff on ANY digital, internet connected device carries inherent risk. Same deal with trusting online companies with your credit card info. You roll the dice, you takes your chances.

My best analogy is this: In World of Warcraft, I never bought gold or used a leveling service because I was aware of the inherent risks and having my account hacked. Guess what, my account never got hacked. My friends who used said services...surprise!!!! Some of them got hacked. Was it their fault? No and yes. Technically Chinese farmers raided their account, but they ignored the possibility and paid the price. Being ignorant doesn't excuse basic responsibility and common sense.

Also, my credit card company generates a unique number for an online transaction if I choose. Sure, steal my one time use number that's on file. Guess what...I'm not concerned my the credit card hacks or having my identity stolen.

This should be celebrity 101. DONT TAKE NUDE SELFIES on an internet connected device! Should they be embarrassed, outraged, and any other mix of emotions? Yes, but all means! But I'm not a celebrity, and I'm smart enough to have iCloud disabled and I DONT TAKE NUDE SELFIES ON MY PHONE. Guess what? I've never been embarrassed or had them stolen. I'm not going to judge others life choices, but nude selfies are not a necessary thing, they're a choice, and that choice has ramifications if you decide to put them in iCloud or send them to people.
 

lorezz77

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The same culture of obsession and adoration over somebody that propelled and maintains you into stardom generates the craving for your nudes. Don't come crying that you're a victim. You know very well that you're beautiful and famous. People desire you. You thought fame only had upsides? No downsides for you? Well, think again. And if having nudes you shot yourself and put into some virtual locker connected to the internet when you know that hackers can get anywhere because it happened in the past hurts you, I have no sympathy for you and your first world problems. There's people in the real world who can't get to the end of the month. There's people who would pose nude a thousand times to get a fraction of the money you have. Consider yourself lucky your problem is that somebody is rubbing one off on your naked pics. Consider yourself lucky that people want to see you naked. Isn't it fame you wanted? Well, this too is being famous. But you know all this very well, don't you?
 

jpishgar

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Jan 5, 2010
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Hey all,

Quick reminder. Tom's forums and commenting are governed under the Rules of Conduct, which prohibit sexism in all forms. If your comments are sexist, please expect at a bare minimum a 1 day ban. Civility is compulsory, and violators will be purged. :)

Thanks!

Warm Regards,
Joe Pishgar
Senior Community Manager
 

xray686166233

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Mar 28, 2012
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This shouldn't even have to be an op ed but only require a minimum of common sense !


Unfortunately that doesn't seem to apply to a lot of individuals

including some very ignorant celebrities and politicians now and then !
 

Brian Hughes

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Sorry, Tom, but if you're going to use "1234" as your e-mail password, send your credit card information to questionable sites over unencrypted networks, or play an online game you don't want people to know you're playing using your real name, then yes, you DO deserve to be hacked. It's the difference between someone breaking into your house and taking pictures of you while you're in the shower, and snapping off a couple of pics as they drive by because you're out on your front porch with no clothes on.

BTW, you do know that an insurance company WILL hold you at fault if your car is stolen if you left it running with the keys in it while you just ran in to pay for your gas, didn't you? The problem you seem to be having is you believe it's an 'either-or' situation - if I'm walking through a bad neighborhood at night waving $100 bills over my head, yes, it's wrong for someone to rob me - but I have to bear at least some of the blame for being a special kind of stupid.
 
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