Blog: Opinions

Today’s BBC Article: Securing your nudie selfies

James Mace 02 Sep 2014

The internet was intended to be an open network by design, right?

Whilst moving all of your data to the cloud so it is accessible from multiple devices seems appealing, it does bring inherent risks with the ease and rate at which information is shared.

In light of the recent nude picture leaks which have hit the headlines, here’s some advice about securing the data you post on the web. It’s not just adults who are guilty of clicking that ‘send’ or ‘upload’ button far too bracingly, children are also at risk, with many having their own smartphones directly connected to the web.

Two Factor Authentication, often abbreviated to ‘2FA’

Usernames and passwords are often stolen during hacker breaches. If the victims of the breach re-use passwords, their other accounts can be compromised.

2FA is about asking for extra information when you login, something like a one-time code sent to you by text message. Without the one-time code, it is far harder to hack your account.

Some ask for an extra code every time you use a new computer or smartphone – the idea is that the attacker is unlikely to have your PC/Mac/phone too, so their attack is crippled

More secure versions ask for the code every single time you log in. A bit of a pain, but ask yourself if that extra step is better than your selfies being stolen?

Many social networking services have now implemented 2FA, but it’s not always obvious how to do it. Here is a quick guide to setting up 2FA on some popular web sites:


    • Login to Facebook
      Navigate to the user settings page via the icon. That’s one of the links in the top right hand corner of the pageRun through both the ‘Security’ and ‘Mobile’ tabs to set up 2FAFollow on-screen instructions


    • Login to your account and then go to and follow on-screen instructions.


    • Login to your account and navigate to the settings page.Click ‘Security and privacy’ on the left-hand navigation panelThen enable: ‘Send login verification requests to my phone’Note that you will have to add your phone to the account first.

      If you don’t want SMS overload, just uncheck those options!

      Follow on-screen instructions.


    • Login to your account using your apple id at Click on ‘Manage your Apple ID’ located on the right-hand side of the page.Choose ‘Password and Security’Select ‘Two-Step Verification’ and follow on-screen instructions.


    • Login through the website:Click on the image of a cog to view account settingsChoose ‘Security’ from the navigation paneSelect ‘Security Key’ and follow on-screen instructions

The above generally involve you being sent a 4 or 6 digit code to your phone.

To help minimise the risk of you being the next victim of a sensitive information leak then we would recommend you enable these settings on all of your online accounts as soon as possible.

Some further tips to help prevent information leakage:

  • It is paramount that you understand that once information has been uploaded to the web, it is often VERY difficult to remove.
  • Be aware of the types of information/images you have stored on web connected devices.
  • Always enable the highest setting security options for your device – advice often found on the vendor’s website.
  • Ensure commonly overlooked options such as ‘auto-backup’ are turned off on sensitive albums.

This doesn’t just apply to your current gadgets; old devices with storage capabilities have also the potential to be private data gold mines. The ‘factory reset’ option often doesn’t wipe the device sufficiently for data to be recovered.

  • Encrypt where possible, if your device is lost, opportunists will struggle to retrieve encrypted files, particularly if your PIN is strong
  • Don’t rush into data migration when buying new devices; seek advice before copying one set of private selfies on to a new device

We cannot emphasise enough the importance on taking a proactive approach to securing your private information. Please, for all our sakes, think before you upload.

If you’re putting something on the internet that you wouldn’t want everyone to see, make sure you secure it. Don’t feed the pervs & trolls.