Should you store your private images on The Cloud?

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Convenience is king with modern technology, but what are the dangers of storing private images on The Cloud?

We live in an age of unrivalled convenience: we can make calls, search through the collected wealth of human knowledge at a tap and take incredibly high quality pictures and videos, all from one device.

Plus, you can instantly backup and store your snaps and videos in The Cloud, often for very little expense or even for free.

However, this convenience isn’t without its dangers. Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, discusses the danger of storing private personal images or data on cloud storage.  

“The iPhones in our pockets or handbags can perform instructions hundreds of million times faster than the computers used to put the Apollo space rocket on the moon. We put our entire faith into them to deliver the experience we expect from modern smartphones.

“However, we also use cloud storage space as well.

“We use this space for storing personal information thinking it is 100% safe to take pictures or videos in the privacy of our own environments and allow them to be stored offline.

“The dangers are keeping this safe: If your account were to be hacked, someone could potentially gain access to your data, download it and do as they wish with those photos or videos.

“Some may be private, some public, others may be very personal, possibly only for the eyes of your partner.

“Once compromised you cannot retrieve them, they are gone.

“The people that may now have them have proved their morality; they will have no regard for your privacy and in some cases may even make money selling your data.

“Whilst the big players like Apple and Google will do all they can to keep your data safe and private, many breaches happen because of password reuse.

“So what can you do? Simple, don’t store your private photos or videos online.

“If you need to take them and keep them then use your own private storage.

“These days personal offline NAS storage is extremely cost effective and can easily incorporate redundancy in case of failure and always work on the assumption that EVERY online account could be compromised.

“Use a separate password and, where possible, username to ensure that if one less secure site was compromised it could not be used elsewhere.

“A password manager is very effective at doing this and will in most cases enable you to generate secure unique passwords to use on each website you log into.”

The moral of the story is: if you wouldn’t want something to go public, don’t put it on cloud storage.

Do you use cloud storage? How many cloud storage services do you use? Let us know on Twitter @ESETUK.