Can Hackers Access Your Selfies?

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How safe are your online personals photos? Can hackers steal your photos from your smartphone or your online dating site? The answer might surprise you. The fact of the matter is there will always be a vulnerability in any technology and a very smart person will exploit it. However, there are things to make it much more difficult for them to get your photos and if you make it more difficult then there is a good chance they will just move on to someone easier.

hackers can even copy fingerprints from photos and use them to steal your identity. Peace-sign selfies and high-resolution pictures are the most vulnerable.

Believe it or not, everything can be hacked. Just because you have the latest iPhone X doesn’t mean you’re safe. A hacker doesn’t need the most advanced technical skills to steal your data. In fact, after so many data breaches there is a good chance much of your personal information is already available for sale on the Dark Web.

Why Hackers Want Your Online Dating Personals Pictures or Selfies?

People want to get your photos in order to either blackmail you or to set up fake profiles to try and lure others into interacting with them for fraudulent reasons. They are sure as heck don’t want to use their own photos so it’s better to set up lots of fake profiles with attractive people to see who they can trap. The simple act of hacking someone’s device gives them the ability to access your credit card and personal information which can go a long way towards identity theft. So the answer to the question of “why someone would want to hack your smartphone or tablet is not all that hard to understand.

Dating Companies Won’t Protect You

While online dating companies have long privacy policies, they are always vulnerable, as are many other companies, to having their databases hacked. Remember Ashley Madison a few years ago? Hackers like to go after your personals information because it usually contains a lot more than just your credit card info. It offers images of you and personal information that they can use to social engineer you or others for identity theft.

Every online dating website has a Privacy Policy geared to reassure members that the personal information they are sharing will be well protected. In their privacy policies, online dating services post long paragraphs detailing the laborious procedures they promise to follow to protect their members’ privacy; but if you read the fine print, you’ll find out that your privacy isn’t quite as protected as they lead you to believe.

How to Protect Personals Photos from Hackers

Mobile security is a major problem with serious consequences. Hackers don’t even need a reason to steal your photos or private data. For them, you’re just a random victim. All is not lost there are some rather simple and straightforward precautions you can use to minimize your chances of having your selfie and personals photos hacked.

Update your OS and apps to the latest version

Many hacks and exploits are possible because people fail to update their software and app. There are always vulnerabilities and the manufacturers learn about them and patch them as fast as they can. If you don’t upgrade, then you miss out on the patch and leave yourself vulnerable

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Here’s another obnoxious security measure that most people can’t stand. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is hated because it requires an extra step, and it’s really a pain if you forget to have your phone or watch nearby. But like passwords, it serves a purpose by providing an extra layer of protection in case someone gets ahold of your password.

Use Very Strong Passwords

The best way to prevent cyber-attacks is to choose a secure, hack-proof password. Use a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers. Passphrases are even safer. Many companies have encrypted password generators that can create a very difficult to crack the password.

You might be concerned that you’d never remember such a robust password, but the truth is your Smart device or computer will remember it for you, usually, all you need to do is input the username and the password. Will autoload if you allow that option. For increased protection, use a password manager. This service generates strong passwords and stores them in one place. LastPass, Opt for RoboForm, Dashlane, or other trusted password apps are a good way to make sure you have and use very strong passwords and encryption. Never share your passwords with anyone, especially by email. When you’re using public computers, uncheck the “Remember Me” option.

Lock Your Smartphone

Here’s a really simple one to use. Simply lock your phone when not in use or set it to Auto-lock after a set time. If you do not lock your phone and have a tendency to leave it lying around then someone can access your phone and insert malware, forward your photos to their server, or do other things you are not going to like. Follow this simple precaution.

Don’t Use Public WIFI

Public WIFI and even spoofed WIFI can be set up in public places to trick people into using the service so hackers can piggyback and access your smartphone. Unless you are very sure of the WIFI and you see that it has an SSL certification, then it is best to use your 5G plan minutes rather than risk it.

Snooping via open Wi-Fi networks is a real threat because eavesdroppers on an unsecured Wi-Fi network can view all its unencrypted traffic. Public hotspots might redirect you to spoofed banking, brokerage, or even email sites designed to capture your username and password. Someone physically across the road from a popular coffee chain could set up a login-free Wi-Fi network named after the café, in hopes of catching useful login details for sale or identity theft

Create Unique Email Accounts

Create a unique email account for each online dating site you subscribe to and never use a free dating site. You can create multiple Gmail email account and even have them forward to your regular email account.

Don’t “Overshare” On Social Media

Also, be careful what you share on dating sites and social networks. Your contacts don’t need to know when you’re on a holiday, or what banking service you’re using. They don’t need to know your birthday or social security number or your Mother’s maiden name etc. if anyone asks for this information you can be sure they are a fake profile trying to scam you too.

Know Where Your Apps Come From

Unfortunately, many apps have hidden features that can be anything from mild security issues to a full-on hacking attempt. The best way to guard against this is to make sure you know where your apps are coming from and not to download any 3rd party apps. iPhone tends to only work with apps from the Apple Apps store which is supposed to test and verify all the apps on the platform but even they have been duped a few times.

Hacking Your Smartphone and Selfies 101

Hackers use the information they purchase on individuals to try and figure out people’s passwords or even other ways to assess and exploit their vulnerabilities. Once they know enough about you and the platforms you frequent then they can go to work on accessing your online dating pictures or your selfies.

Bluejacking, phishing, and malware apps are among the most common attacks. As long as you’re using the Internet on your phone, you’re at risk. The more advanced the hacker the more likely they are to crack your smartphone encryption and take over your phone. They only need a few minutes to steal your credit card data, personals photos, and selfies.

Here are the most common strategies they use:

IPhone And IPad Hijacking

If you have an iOS device, your photos are automatically stored in Apple’s iCloud. Just like everything else, this app has its weak points. In 2014, over 100 celebrities had their accounts compromised. Cloud storage makes it easier to upload and store images. Even if you lose your phone, you’ll still have your pictures in the cloud. The downside is that anyone who knows your password and username can access them. The easiest way to protect your phone is to choose strong passwords. Also, make sure you turn off automatic iCloud sharing and Google Plus Auto-Backup.

Bluesnarfing

Hackers may use bluesnarfing to access your text messages, emails, and photos. This attack is most likely to occur when your device is in discoverable mode. To prevent it, keep your phone in “invisible” mode and turn off Bluetooth. Never store your passwords or credit card data on the phone.

Ransomware

Do you have Apple’s Find My Mac security app installed on your smartphone? If so, it’s better to remove it. Hackers can access this feature and take control of your phone. They encrypt your files and ask you for money to unlock them. In the worst-case scenario, they will steal all the data on your Mac. This type of attack is known as ransomware. It allows criminals to see where their devices are physically located and set a PIN to lock them.

Once they have access to your phone, stealing your photos is a piece of cake. To protect your device, enable Apple’s two-factor authentication. Set up a unique password for iCloud and another for your smartphone. Do not use the same password on your phone and computer.

Malware

Smartphone apps add functionality to your device. Unfortunately, they also increase the risk of hacking. The more apps you’re using, the higher the chances of a data breach.

Hackers can gain control over your phone through malicious apps. Once this happens, they can delete your social profiles or share your pics. Your credit card information is at risk, too.

Phishing By Message

That random text from your banking institution with a link for you to click to login and check some issue is usually going to be fake and an attempt to get you to click onto a lookalike site so they can steal your login credentials.

The same for emails. You have to be smart about even “official” looking emails since they can be a real threat. If you do get a message from your bank don’t click any links in the messages, just go to your browser or banking app and login directly so you have a higher percentage chance it’s real.

There are many other tricks hackers can use to access your data. Some of the most common smartphone security threats are inspired by computer hacking. For example, clicking on spammy links in the emails received on your phone may lead to identity theft.

How to Know if your Smartphone is Hacked

If you see any of the following, then you might want to get your smartphone checked out by a professional. In some cases, you can default the smartphone back to the factory setting and then slowly add the apps back that you need but remember to change the passwords just in case.

Things to look out for:

  1. High data usage
  2. Sluggish performance
  3. Noticeably Shorter Battery life
  4. Weird activity on any of the accounts the phone is attached to
  5. Outbound emails, texts, or calls you did not make

Keep Personal Information Personal

When getting to know someone on the other side of the Internet, you can expect to hear a lot of the same questions: your likes and dislikes, your hometown, whether you have pets or children. Be scrupulous about sharing personal details at first, since the Attorney General reports that unsecured websites represent targets of opportunity for identity thieves. To steal your identity, a thief only needs your name, your date of birth, and the city or county where you were born. If they have a photo of you, that only makes it easier. A potential suitor who is just trying to get to know you is likely is not a thief, but when they persist in asking about personal information, cut them loose and go on to the next candidate

Never Download Attachments

A phisher or hacker can send a million virus-laden emails to your inbox, but so long as you do not open them and download their contents, your computer will remain safe and free of harm. Netcraft reports that phishers have ramped up their use of virus-laden or fraudulent HTML attachments in email files since their first appearance in 2005. Avoid opening any kind of attachment when a connection sends you a message. Instead, request a link to the restaurant he’s recommending, or ask him to upload the photo she wants to share, onto her online dating profile. For further protection against an accidental download, use a virus-screening platform like CenturyLink antivirus. Remember to regularly update your computer’s anti-virus software, so that hackers cannot confuse an older program with their new tricks

Never Make Financial Information Available

Though many people have it ingrained in their heads that you can never be too careful about spending money online, many e-tricks exist to swindle people out of their hard-earned finances.

If you follow even a few of the recommendations outlined above, you can go a very long way to protecting yourself and your profile photos from hackers.

About Post Author

Rivet

1. Certified Penetration Tester 2. Consultant Cyber Law & Crime. 3. Traveller
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