Those Blake Lively nude pics everyone is talking about—whether they’re real or not—are all over the Internet now. If that’s not Blake Lively in those naked photos, well, it’s still somebody. Somebody who took nude photos of herself in a bathroom and probably never thought those photos would end up on Perez Hilton, and beyond.
There’s no definitive word yet how the alleged Blake Lively photos got out—and we are certainly not complaining—but it does raise a concern. Should you be so lucky that a fine-looking lady takes nude or racy photos of herself for you, you may not want everyone else to see them. How can you prevent scandalous pics on your or her hardrive from getting out? Take the advice of Scott Mitic, CEO of TrustedID and an online security expert. Here are his three top tips for avoiding getting hacked and potentially embarrassed.
Understand and manage privacy controls on popular social networks. That means the impact of ‘everyone,’ ‘friends of friends’ and ‘university’ and ‘city networks’ as well as the mess of per-application privacy settings. That seems obvious, but info isn’t as private as you think, and not everyone you went to school with is as virtuous as you are.
Beware of scammers. Most people don’t think twice before posting all kinds of intimate information on social networking sites. Research conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) reveals that 74 percent of social networking users divulge personal information, such as their e-mail address and birthday. Consider restricting access to your page to a select group of people and setting your profile to private to prevent uninvited members from viewing your personal information.
Exercise caution when clicking on links or downloading files. NCSA research also shows that 83 percent of people download unknown files from other people’s profiles, an action that could lead to identity theft, computer spyware, viruses and other risks (you know, like someone acquiring all those photos). Scam artists often post links to infected ad banners in their profiles. Avoid opening links or downloads from strangers, and never enter your password or account number unless you’ve verified the site’s authenticity.
Editor’s note: If you send the photos out, a la Brett Favre, you have no one to blame but yourself.