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Nudes. It seems like only a few years ago that we were experiencing near-constant leaks of celebrity nudes. How were the people whose privacy was so carefully guarded being hacked by journalists to out their saucy late night snaps? We’re here to give you some advice on how to keep your nudes safe before, during and after sending them.  

Don’t use Facebook Messenger

Unless you don’t mind these photos being permanently stored – even after you “delete” them. Instead use timed message services like snapchat private messaging or messaging services like Telegram, Wire or Signal. WhatsApp is technically encrypted but we would be less inclined to trust it. With Telegram and Wire you are notified if someone takes a screenshot of your conversation or image, which is the same as with snapchat – and the only way to save your nudes through these platforms would be through screenshots as the image isn’t sent as a download like on Whatsapp.

Take it one step further…

And use a new email address, created on Proton Mail, to set up a messaging account with one of these messenger services. This way if any of your nudes do escape they can’t be traced back to your name.

Don’t have your face in the picture

Of course, if you have tattoos or other things that could easily identify you, it’s less helpful not to include your face. But if you are really worried or you have a tendency to send nudes on the regs, it might be worth considering.

Turn off Location services when you take the photos

Seems a little paranoid, but when you take a photo and your location services are on, the photos are encrypted with your location information – and so it can be traced back to your IP address (which is like the fingerprint of your phone).

Turn off automatic uploads

If you have an iPhone and use the cloud, whenever you take a picture your phone will automatically upload it to your cloud. This means that if any of your accounts linked to your cloud get hacked, someone has access to all of your photos – including your nudes. Choose to only upload selected photos to iCloud or better yet, don’t use iCloud at all and instead invest in an external hard-drive, on which you can store everything without fear of it being hacked as they are not connected to the internet.

Use a password manager

LastPass or OnePassword help you to manage complex passwords for everything you use – rather than having the same password for all of your accounts. This makes it much harder to hack you – you would be surprised just how many people have the same password for their facebook as they do for their bank.

Use private browsing online

Incognito mode is only more private because it doesn’t visually save your history when you browse – but this doesn’t mean that Google or other search engines don’t store information about what you search. Try using Tor instead for encrypted, private use.

Use an app to store your nudes 

Apps like Photo Vault let you store your nudes in the app and removes them automatically from your photos feed on your phone, so you can scroll in front of others without fear of a saucy picture popping up unexpectedly. 

If a nude of you is shared without your permission or ends up online, you have rights

Visit Cyber Civil Rights Initiative for more information on how to address this if it happens.

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