“Nobody understands the cloud, it’s a mystery!”
Never has this quote been more relevant than right now. Especially with the recent spike in scandals surrounding social media, with celebrity nude photos leaking online, grossly called “The Fappening” and Emma Watson being threatened to have nude pictures of her leaked after a feminist speech to the UN. And most recently – probably one of the most controversial – over 13GB worth of explicit Snapchat photos and videos leaked online, aptly named the “The Snappening”.
How many of us have taken that embarrassing Snapchat selfie? Or uploaded a snap of our dinner on our Instagram account? Or taken that photo that the receiver promised not to show anyone? How many of us have had some peace of mind, thinking that all those photos were deleted? We’re all guilty of being glued to our mobile and computer screens and nowadays social media has pretty much taken over our lives.
But how can we protect ourselves from the embarrassment of having our personal photos leaked? What do we really own once we post our photos online? According to Michael Cox, lead strategist at Dialogue Consulting – a company which specialises in social and media strategy – being cautious about what you post online is “pretty straightforward” and “engaging your head before your keypad can get you a long way”. Sounds pretty simple, but he gave us a few extra tips just in case.
“Be aware of where your content might travel,” he said. “If you post a photo, just ask yourself if you’d be comfortable with it moving beyond the network in which it was posted. If not, you might want to think again,” he told The Newsroom.
If you, like the people pictured below, argue that if you don’t want your explicit photos leaked then you shouldn’t be taking any, please pull out a chair and have a seat. Let’s get a few things straight.
First of all, is that really the number one precaution we should be taking? Not taking nudes may be the smarter and more conservative thing to do, but ask yourself, who is really at fault? Not only is this a clear invasion of someone’s privacy, but it also contributes to victim blaming which is something that needs to come to an end.
So let’s brush up on some facts – photos were stolen from a deleted file from someone’s private iCloud account. Someone illegally hacked into someone else’s private space and took the intimate photos, which were supposed to be between two people, and those two people only.
The Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence finally made a public statement in her latest interview with Vanity Fair magazine about the situation. She called it a sex crime and a sexual violation.
“It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting,” she said. “I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years,” she continued. “It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.
“It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe that we even live in that kind of world.”
Although you can take the easy way out and just disable iCloud altogether, it is said that you can encrypt your data with two separate passwords, making it almost impossible for someone to hack your account.
However, Michael Cox still encourages you to “just be careful about what type of data you choose to store on a iCloud.” – Heba Dandachi
Top photo collated by Heba Dandachi.