Protect Your iCloud Photos

Don’t be like Jennifer Lawrence.

The recent celebrity photo hacking scandal brings to mind how far we’ve come in the world of technology, but also reminds us not to get too complacent about data security. Technology has come a long way, and it has even further to go. But, as soon as something cool and groundbreaking comes out, there’s somebody waiting in the wings to destroy it or hack into it.

As an answer to all of these vulnerabilities, what’s become increasing popular lately is two-factor authentication (2FA). Two what, you say? Simply, 2FA is a safeguard to make sure that when you login to one of your online accounts, that’s it’s actually you doing it. Typically the second factor in this scenario is a text message to your cellphone with a random key that you have to enter to prove you are who you say you are.

However, this is not foolproof either. In a recent Tuaw article, it was proven that 2FA is not always reliable either. In theory, when you login to a computer or device with your iCloud account, you are notified via email that your account has been accessed on a new device. But, as the article points out, if you access your iCloud account on a virtual PC running on a Mac that already has your iCloud account on it, or you walk to any PC and login to iCloud.com, that may not trigger that notification, and bingo there are your iCloud shared photos, calendar information, etc. on another device. Just like that.

If there is a moral to this story, it’s that even though technology has gotten cooler and more sophisticated, you really can’t keep your guard down. Safeguard your passwords, use 2FA, and just stay vigilant.

–Joe Bowen