there is still no clarity on what happened with Sandeep Kumar, the AAP politician who is no longer the minister. He allegedly features in a “naughty” video, which has been leaked on world wide web. There are many versions of what has happened. In a statement to a media agency, Kumar has said that he is not in the video and that his footage has been morphed to target him. Then there is a version that the video is genuine but the acts in it were consensual so there is nothing wrong with it.
Well, irrespective of whatever that has come out in the open and what hasn’t, the reality is that Kumar has lost his minister’s post and his boss and party chief Arvind Kejriwal is furious with him. But that is all politics. Here we write about tech, so why are we talking about Kumar? The reason is the manner in which the video has come out.
Here is what the world knows: The video in which Kumar allegedly featured was shot on his personal iPhone. But this iPhone was actually gifted to him by someone and that the phone was already connected to an iCloud account with backup turned on. This is the reason why the video got leaked. So, ahem, moral of the story is that you should be careful whenever you are shooting those naughty videos or images with your phone.
Or better still, just follow these tips to ensure that your private videos remain private.
If you use an iPhone…
Nowadays smartphones come with cloud back services. This means that your phone, most likely, in most cases backups the photos and videos etc that you capture on to cloud storage. The iPhone does it through the iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage service. And not only it backs up but also makes it available to all the devices connected to one particular Apple account. This means if you have a MacBooK and an iPhone, the photos that you click with the phone will also be available on your MacBook if you are using one single Apple account in both devices. This is convenient but super scary in terms of privacy. So to avoid problems due to this feature, here is what you should do:
Turn off photo stream: The photo stream enables a user to see the same photo on multiple Apple devices. To turn it off, go to Settings > iCloud > Photos, then turn on My Photo Stream.
At the same time, if you want the older photos to go away completely, ensure that you delete them from the Photo Stream before you turn it off. To delete images from photo stream, do:
— Open the Photos app.
— Tap the Albums tab.
— Tap My Photo Stream.
— Tap Select.
— Tap one or more photos. You’ll see a checkmark on the photos that you select.
— Tap the Trash icon. Tap Delete [number] Photos.
Turn off iCloud backup: If you are really serious about your privacy, consider turning off iCloud backup completely. To do so, go to Settings > iCloud, then tap to turn on or off iCloud features.
if you use an Android phone…
On an Android phone, the photos are videos are uploaded to the Google servers if you have the Photos app installed (almost all Android phones have this installed). But you can turn it on or off. By default it is off but as soon as you use the app for the first time after getting the new phone, the app asks user to turn on the back-up. Most users say yes without realising the implications. Don’t be part of such users. Say no to this prompt if you value your privacy.
Additionally you can also turn off (or on if you want) the backup feature built into the Google Photos by using the following methods:
— Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device.
— At the top left, tap Menu.
— Select Settings > Back up & sync.
— At the top, switch it on or off.
Also it’s very important that…
— You do a factory reset/wipe of the phone if you are getting it as gift from someone or if it is a second hand phone. The same is true if you are giving away your phone to someone or if you are selling it.
— If you delete the photo or video from your phone, ensure you also delete from the cloud storage by going to Google Photos or iCloud in case it has a copy there. Once it’s up in cloud, deleting it locally from the phone won’t be enough. You have to delete from all the places where its copies may exist.