How to hide your sensitive pictures

And eggplant with a lock covering it.

Everyone has the right to take a naked selfie every once in a while. A survey found that 76% of Americans (both men and women) between the ages of 18 and 24 have sent nudes. But sexting isn’t just for young people either; the survey also found that 53% of people in the study aged 45 or older have also sent nudes. 

No judgment. We just want to give you tips on how to hide pictures and where to store them.  

Giving anyone access to your NSFW photo can have long and unintended negative consequences, so it’s essential to minimize your risk. To protect your NSFW photos, you can hide them on your devices to keep nosy family members out or you can hide them in secure cloud storage.

How to hide pictures on iPhone

  1. Open Photos.
  2. Select the photo or video that you want to hide.
  3. Tap the Share button, then tap Hide.
  4. Confirm that you want to hide the photo or video.

The photos are now in an album titled “Hidden.” The photos are not visible in your camera roll, but someone can still find them in Hidden. To hide the Hidden album too, go to your phone’s Settings > Photos > turn off Hidden Album. Note: This method is not safe. In theory, a motivated snoop can still turn your Hidden album back on and view the album.

How to hide pictures on Android

On Samsung phones, you can set up a Secure Folder that only unlocks with your fingerprint. Go to Settings > Biometrics and security > Secure Folder

If you use Google Photos on your Android, see below on using its new Locked Folder feature.

How to hide pictures in secure cloud storage 

There are plenty of online storage services, but not all of them were created equal. For example, you wouldn’t choose to upload your NSFW photos on a site like Flickr or Dropbox. Instead, here are some cloud storage services that have top-notch encryption or a password-protected function, some of which are specifically intended for such photos.

1. Sync

Free for up to 5 GB
Starts at 8 USD/month for 2 TB 

Sync offers end-to-end encryption storage to ensure that only the account holder can access their data in the cloud. Sync users have complete control over their data with two-factor authentication, granular user permissions, and remote wipe. The company also doesn’t collect, sell, or share personal data or app usage information with advertisers or third parties. 

2. pCloud

Free: up to 10 GB
Paid: starts at 47.88 USD/year (originally $59.88/year) for 500 GB

pCloud is so confident about its client-side encryption software that it has challenged hackers from all parts of the world to break its encryption with the pCloud Crypto Hacking Challenge, which offers a 100,000 USD reward. Much like Sync, pCloud, too, claims it’s unable to view or access user files.

3. Icedrive 

Free: up to 10 GB
Paid: starts at 4.99 USD/month

Unlike most cloud storage systems, Icedrive employs desktop software that allows you to access and manage your cloud storage space natively in your operating system. Encryption-wise, Icedrive uses the Twofish algorithm and offers client-side encryption.

4. Google Photos Locked Folder 

Free: up to 15 GB
Paid: 1.99 USD/month for additional 100 GB

The Locked Folder function on Google Photos is pretty new. The password-protected feature is available on the internet giant’s flagship Pixel devices but will soon be available for other Android phones.

You can also set the camera on your device to save captured images directly into the Locked Folder. This could be useful if, well, you’re taking photos and want to keep them private immediately. 

While Google Photos is not end-to-end encrypted, the Locked Folder function could be helpful if you’re the sort to store photos on your mobile device only and want to prevent other people from viewing sensitive photos on your device. 

To access Locked Folder, go to Photos > Library > Utilities > Locked Folder.

5. Tresorit

Starts at 10.42 USD/annually for 500 GB

The Swiss company offers end-to-end encryption with its zero-knowledge cloud technology for photos and other files. If you want to share your NSFW photos with lower risk, Tresorit allows you to share links and file requests for secure sharing. You can even set expiry dates, passwords, and email verification for added security. 

Tips to keep NSFW photos anonymous 

The old advice used to be to never take naked pictures. But that’s almost an unrealistic expectation nowadays. Here are some things you can do to prevent the internet from seeing you naked or having your nude photos used against you someday. 

1. Keep your face out of it

Avoid taking photos that include your face and possibly other obvious identifiers. If you’ve got a unique tattoo, birthmark, or other feature, frame your shots to avoid being identified.

2. Turn off location services 

Every photo you take has metadata attached to it. Such data could include the sort of camera you use, the type of operating system, and even your location, and they could all be sent to the person you’re sending the photo to. If you’re uploading images online, keep in mind that the metadata will also be available if someone downloads your picture.

3. Don’t show your surroundings

If you don’t want your location revealed, you’re also going to want to avoid taking NSFW photos in places that are readily identifiable, like near local attractions. If you frequently show the inside of your home over social media (such as if you are a YouTuber), you’ll want to keep your home interiors out of your sensitive pictures as well. 

4. Turn off automatic syncing

Unless you trust your cloud storage service, make sure you’ve disabled automatic cloud syncing. 

5. Only send your photos through secure platforms

Messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram have end-to-end encryption making them secure platforms. Telegram, too, has a self-destruct feature where you can set timers for photos. You’ll also get notified if someone takes a screenshot of your self-destruct photo. 

Read more: The best messaging apps for privacy and security in 2021

6. Use a VPN!

Encrypting your traffic with a VPN will prevent anyone from seeing your online activity and stealing your photos if you’re on unsecured Wi-Fi in, say, a hotel or a coffee shop.

Read more: Top cloud services to store photos online (free and paid)

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