With increasing number of people switching to 3G and ISP cellular service providers waging a war to reduce the prices and offer heavy discounts are only making it easier. In a modern and highly communicated world today, the Internet has become a necessity rather than luxury.
Previously, pictures of yourself, your friends, groups, family and pets, would stay on your camera-equipped phone itself. However, with smartphones, such as IOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone, the photos definitely are not staying on your phone itself.
Installing third-party apps and using built-in data syncing or backup services, such as Google Drive, Drop Box, iCloud and alike, are common. However, what do these free services come along with, could scare your eyeballs out. If you own a smartphone and have an active Internet service on it, you should be careful which what you store on your device.
Today’s smartphones are equipped with high-end rear and front cameras. The trend of selfies is increasing, and you can see selfies or self-shots all over the social media. These photos are put up there yourselves since you are aware what you are putting up there, where you are putting it and with whom you are sharing it. However, there could be instances of you taking pictures of yourself at awkward moments—maybe in the changing room, shower, in bed or at an intimate moment—which you don’t want to share with anyone. These pictures, maybe nude or simply embarrassing, would only stay on your smartphone for your personal memories. But hold on; are you confirmed that these pictures are only on your phone?
Data syncing apps such as Dropbox, Google Plus, Google Drive, Facebook, iCloud, and many others make sure you don’t lose any data from your smartphone. Pictures, videos, apps, app data, documents, etc., all can automatically be synced with your online cloud account, ensuring you don’t lose any data from your smartphone. Most syncing apps are configured, by default, to upload photos, videos, call records, messages and a few others, to the respective servers.
So that naked photo you took of yourself could not only be with you!
Yes, there are high chances that some background service has already uploaded your photos and videos to their servers, right after you have clicked them. The pictures are already uploaded, and thanks to that high-speed Wi-Fi or 3G you always boasted about. So the pictures are now on the cloud too, and in, possibly, multiple online storage accounts you hold.
The pictures that get uploaded stay there and are safe since you can access them using your password. But are they really safe there too? The company hosting the cloud service still has administrative access to your data, because, after all, the data is still residing on regular server hardware with IT personnel having access to it. Cloud services are also known to strike deals with other companies to store the excess data capacity that they cannot manage. So, once more, your data is also, possibly, on some other server by now. Cloud servers can be hacked; the data could be partly owned by the company (make sure you check the terms and conditions), could be sold, and a lot of other scary things.
Apple, a few days earlier, confirmed that a few iCloud accounts were hacked into and some nude pictured of celebrities (Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and a few others) was stolen and shared on the Internet. Another well-known celebrity said that she had confirmed that she erased her nude pictures from her phone but had no idea how it got out there.
Not only celebrities and high-profile people are usually hacked—everyone has something worth hacking. Documents, passwords, company secrets, banking details, personal documents, and a lot more is like displaying your gold in your window.
Cloud services are not evil. However, they are not completely safe either. They are great options to sync and backup your important data and other stuff, but you have to use them at your own risk. Always check your settings on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer and make sure that you sync only what you want to.