• Analyst offers cloud advice after celebrity photos leaked

    By: Scott Wickersham


    CHARLOTTE - This past weekend, dozens of celebrities’ private information was hacked, leaking nude photos all over the Internet.

    Now people are questioning the security of using the cloud to share and store pictures.

    Cloud computing is a generic term for storing and accessing data and programs on the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. It saves space on your computer, but it also means all of the information could live online even after being deleted.

    Most people know the dangers of racy or embarrassing photos, but experts say even having them on your phone is a risk.

    “Pictures you don’t think should be in the public (eye), and you are doing that on a digital device that you are backing up to the cloud? You are an accident waiting to happen,” said cyber-expert Gregory Richardson.

    Richardson said it is not just pictures. Any time you tell digital devices to sync up things like contacts, calendar appointments or passwords, they pass through the cloud.

    The good news is, most cloud storage is secure.

    Richardson thinks the hackers spent a lot of time targeting the celebrities’ phones, perhaps exploiting a glitch or using a virus to get their cloud passwords.

    “The weak spot is not the cloud. It’s the human. Any good cybercriminal knows this,” Richardson said.

    To protect yourself, create stronger passwords and locks on all of your computers and smartphones. Also keep the operating system up to date.

    To delete photos from the cloud, you have to delete them from your photo stream and the phone.

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