You probably have heard by now that about 100 VIP iCloud accounts were hacked and photos with these persons naked were disclosed in various forums.
I guess that by now it is quite needless to say that the best way to avoid your pictures, especially those with you naked, to fall into the wrong hands is to avoid taking them in the first place. Sooner or later they will fall in the wrong hands. No matter what you use to take them, phones – can be stolen or get lost, photo cameras – the same, USB sticks, hard drives can be also lost, shared or borrowed.
But if you can’t resist the temptation and you still want to do this, here are some things you can do which might prevent someone to get access to them:
1. Don’t make backups in a cloud
Do not store pictures in cloud services if you want that they remain private. Even if you mark them as private, once you upload them, they are no longer belonging only to you. They are hosted somewhere in some datacenter and most definitely they get replicated in various locations across the globe. If the provider that stores them gets hacked, or a disgruntled employee takes revenge on his employer and leaves with data, then you’re on the hook. And you have no control on what is going on.
2. Encrypted the offline storage
You definitely use some kind of storage mechanism to store the pictures: USB hard drive or USB stick, a NAS device, CD/DVD. Make sure the storage is encrypted before you copy on it. Use encryption software like Bitkeeper or (the now defunct) Truecrypt to encrypt the device.
If you can’t encrypt the storage entirely (as in case of CD/DVD), encrypt the files to be written on that storage.
3. Deactivate the auto-backup to cloud function
If you use a smartphone (iPhone, Android) or a tablet, make sure you deactivate the automatic backup to the cloud. If you have an iPhone, then deactivate PhotoStream which syncs with iCloud, if you have Android, deactivate the auto-backup function which syncs with Google+.
If you have Dropbox, then you should configure it to not automatically backup photos.
4. Encrypt the storage of the smartphone
In case you do use a smartphone, encrypt the storage first so that if you lose the device nobody has access to the storage. You can encrypt your phone’s storage easily as all smartphones have this option built in these days. The situation with the cameras is different though as I am not aware of any camera that has such a functionality.