Have you ever sent or received a sext,  then you’re not alone. A new study released by security software firm McAfee titled “Love, Relationships, and Technology” details just how many people send risque photos or intimate texts to people they know or strangers.

McAfee online security expert Robert Siciliano wrote in a blog post that a number of adults share “private details about their lives, including those of an intimate nature such as nude photos and sexts — all of this on unsecured digital devices — now, that’s just asking for a social scandal.”

McAfee wrote than 96 percent of people use their phones to take pictures, and 49 percent send or receive sexual content via video, photo, e-mail, or messaging. People also store this provocative correspondence — 50 percent of adults store sexts and images they receive. While the majority of sexters, 77 percent, send this racy content to their significant others, 16 percent send it to complete strangers.

Whenever you clicked a picture in your device then it automatically stored into google photos or ICloud photos (won’t stored if you have turned that off) . Many people think that hackers still target individuals, like in the Selena Gomez Instagram hack. But those attacks are rare. Most hacking is like a trawling expedition, with large botnets (private computers which have themselves been compromised and added to a hacking network) deployed to break into any accounts they can. It works like this: A botnet will use a huge list of email addresses and/or usernames, and then keep trying to log into Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, your Apple account, and so on, using lists of common passwords, names, and dictionary words, as passwords.

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This is why you need a good, strong, password. You, as an individual, are of no interest to “hackers.” But as the owner of an easy-to-guess email address, and a weak password, your account can be compromised and then either used, or sold in bulk.

Every day, DMCA.com’s professional staff handle take down cases for clients who have found their personal and very intimate pictures, or videos, published online on for all to see. Their stories and situations are heartbreaking. Almost always their reputation has been severely impacted by the online publication of these deeply personal photos or videos.

Shockingly, in most cases, these very intimate, personal pictures or videos were found online by family, friends or even coworkers. To make matters worse, often the photos or videos were taken years earlier, long forgotten and long before a current marriage, relationship or employment. In the age of powerful internet search engines and social networking it is too easy for anyone (husband, boss, clients, co-workers, parents etc.) to connect your name to recently published, intimate pictures or videos that have been uploaded onto the internet.

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Top 10 Steps to avoid having compromising photos of you published online

  • Do NOT take pictures (or videos) of yourself in any compromising position especially in various stages of undress – period. It sounds obvious but remember once it’s digital and on the internet EVERYONE can see your picture or video. When a picture or video of you is being taken, always try to imagine your loved ones, employers or respected peers viewing this image or video. Stop and think – Is this something you would be ok with them seeing?Note: Every device that has a camera is (somehow) connected to the internet.
  • If you do take pictures (or videos) of yourself in the nude (or in various stages of undress) do NOT send them to anyone – period. The risk is simply too high. Even if you completely trust the person. What happens if their phone, or laptop or pc is stolen? What happens if their email is hacked? Your picture can be shared for the whole world to see. What happens when your relationship ends and this person decides to share your photos or videos with others
  • PARENTS (guardians, uncles, aunts and grandparents) talk to your children and pre-teens, about the dangers of taking these types of pictures. What they see as innocent play can quickly be turned into something undesirable and often with tragic consequences. An innocent picture of “mom” can make it online all too easily. No images or videos of your children or their friends in ANY state of undress, even jokingly is acceptable. How soon should you speak to your children about this? NOW as soon as they have or have access to a camera, a phone with a camera, or a webcam or when they begin to play with your phone.
  • If someone takes an intimate, private, personal picture (or video) of you ask them to delete it. Make sure you see that it has been deleted. If you are not interested in sharing this personal photo (or video) with all of your friends, family, co-workers, future in-laws or husband, then ask for it to be deleted. Make sure you see that it has been deleted. If the picture(s) (or videos) was taken by a professional make certain you own the copyright – no exceptions. make sure you own / have the original memory card the photos (or videos) were taken on – or see they are deleted.
  • If someone has compromising pictures or video of you be firm in your request for them to delete it. Let them know you are serious about your privacy and security. Do not be intimidated. Get help if you need it. Parents, School, Police anyone with authority. In most countries the owning and distributing pictures or video of anyone “underage” is illegal.
  • Friends don’t let friends get photographed (or video’d) in compromising positions or in various stages of undress. Especially when partying. This is not funny. Remember everyone at the party you are at has a camera and that camera is connected to the internet.
    Gone are the days of innocently “flashing the camera”.
  • Do not post or upload intimate, personal pictures or videos onto any website – period. This includes all social media and dating sites. Unless you want to share that picture or video with everyone on the internet – including your friends, family, employer and church.
  • Friendships and intimate relationships are not always forever. Disgruntled friends, ex-boyfriends etc. are often the top offenders in posting undesirable images or videos. Even if you completely trust the individual you are sending the images to what would happen if their phone, tablet, laptop or pc were stolen? What if their email account was hacked? Your images could end up in the wrong hands very quickly.
  • Many clubs and public events have photographers that walk around taking pictures and video. Avoid them. If you do not want to find yourself posted on an internet site – DO NOT POSE for them. Be clear with the photographer(s) – you do not give permission to be photographed. Where possible have a witness.
  • Don’t be conned into taking ‘pretty’ pictures for a photographer who promises to make you a star. Check the credentials of anyone you are getting into a professional arrangement with and do not sign away your rights to your images. Have a professional negotiate a contract for you.
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With all the stories we’ve heard about intimate photos being leaked, it’s hard to believe people are still sharing their passwords, McAfee consumer business vice president Gary Davis said in a statement. “Ultimately, they’re increasing the risks of these photos becoming public and possibly jeopardizing their identity and reputation. Consumers must take precautions and use mobile security to ensure that what should be private stays private.

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