The Fappening: how to stop hackers from stealing your nudes?

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -

Fappening is not only a security issue for celebrities

Avoid fappening

The Fappening is a term created to describe a massive iCloud hack when hundreds of celebrity explicit pictures were stolen and published online in 2014.[1] However, it didn’t take long for Fappening 2.0[2] and 3.0[3] to occur. Nudes of actresses, news host, models and other famous women keep being published without their permission until this day.

You may think that criminals are only interested in celebrities which might be willing to lots of money to avoid such an unpleasant situation. However, cybercriminals can hack into anyone’s account and steal delicate or sensitive information for numerous reasons.

We want to remind about the importance of protecting your pictures, files, and accounts from evil-minded people. It doesn’t matter if you have nudes saved on iCloud or not, your content might be still valuable to criminals.

Phishing emails – the main way to get user’s account credentials

The Fappening began when cybercriminals sent targeted phishing emails to celebrities. Social engineering techniques and legit-looking email encouraged victims to click on a provided link and type their iCould account logins and passwords.

Phishing is a very popular method to take advantage of computer users. The same method is used for spreading malware or ransomware,[4] not only stealing credentials. Therefore, you have to be suspicious about each email you received from Apple, iCloud, iTunes or other company or organization:

  • Check sender’s email and make sure that it’s the same as the company’s;
  • Look for grammar or spelling mistakes;
  • Access the website and log in by opening a new browser’s tab instead of clicking a provided link. Links might lead to fake phishing websites;
  • Companies never asked to provide personal information, such as login details, credit card numbers or similar in the email. Hence, if you received such email, beware of the hoax and do not reveal private information;
  • The letter threatens to delete or suspend your account unless you confirm your identity or enter credentials. In some cases, it might be possible. However, you should check this information the website without clicking a link or button in the email.

All in all, you have to be critical with received emails. Do not rush clicking and opening content to protect your personal information from being stolen.

Enabling two-factor authentication makes it harder to hack your account

Two-factor authentication (2FA) gives an extra layer of security. Even though someone guesses your password or you accidentally reveal it on the phishing website, 2FA prevents attackers from accessing your account.

This technology requires entering a unique code which is displayed on a specific app or received via SMS message. Though, your mobile phone is needed to log in to iCloud. If you haven’t enabled 2FA authentication for Apple ID, you should do it right now.

Save pictures in local drive instead of iCloud

iCloud hacks are quite common, unfortunately. The fappening case in 2014 probably was one of the largest hacks Apple has experienced. However, since then users’ private information was compromised a couple of times.[5] Thus, you should consider if iCloud is the safest place to keep nudes and other personal information stored there.

iPhones by default upload pictures taken with a camera on iCloud. Indeed, it’s a comfortable backup measure. However, chances to get your pictures leaked does not sound very fascinating, right?

Hence, you should disable this feature by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings.
  2. Open Accounts & Passwords.
  3. Choose iCloud.
  4. Tap Photos.
  5. Select iCloud Photo Library and disable it.

If you take lots of pictures, you might soon use up all the iPhone’s storage space. However, you can always create backups on your MacBook or external storage device. It’s better to save photos in the local drive for safety reasons.

Prevent websites, ISP, and other parties from tracking you

Private Internet Access is a VPN that can prevent your Internet Service Provider, the government, and third-parties from tracking your online and allow you to stay completely anonymous. The software provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, ensuring optimal performance and not slowing you down. You can also bypass geo-restrictions and view such services as Netflix, BBC, Disney+, and other popular streaming services without limitations, regardless of where you are.

A VPN is also crucial when it comes to user privacy. Online trackers such as cookies can not only be used by social media platforms and other websites but also your Internet Service Provider and the government. Even if you apply the most secure settings via your web browser, you can still be tracked via apps that you are connected to the internet. Besides, privacy-focused browsers like Tor is are not an optimal choice due to diminished connection speed.

Therefore, to stay completely anonymous and prevent the ISP and the government from spying on you, you should employ Private Internet Access VPN. It will allow you to connect to the internet while being completely anonymous, prevent trackers, ads, as well as malicious content. Most importantly, you will prevent the illegal surveillance activities that NSA and other governmental institutions are performing behind your back.


Recover your lost files quickly

Unforeseen circumstances can happen at any time while using the computer: it can turn off due to a power cut, a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) can occur, or random Windows updates can decide to reboot the machine when you went away for a few minutes. As a result, your schoolwork, important documents, and other data might be lost.

Additionally, you might also be attacked by malware that can corrupt your Windows or encrypt files with a robust encryption algorithm, and ask for a ransom in Bitcoin for the decryption tool. Cybercriminals might not deliver what they promised, however, so it is better to attempt alternative file recovery methods that could help you to retrieve at least some portion of the lost data.

Data recovery software is one of the options that could help you recover your files. Once you delete a file, it does not vanish into thin air – it remains on your system as long as no new data is written on top of it. Data Recovery Pro is recovery software that searchers for working copies of deleted files within your hard drive. By using the tool, you can prevent loss of valuable documents, school work, personal pictures, and other crucial files.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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