Opinion | You care more about your privacy than you think

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It seems appropriate to start with what is now my default warning from a security professional: "Whatever you do online, work with the assumption that every photo, email, communication will ever be published on a large bulletin board." Now, that is not ashamed or prudish to suggest that you should not try romantic escapades in cyberspace. That is your call. However, the internet is kept together with duct tape and if you are serious about security, it is good to know the risks in advance.

Firstly, Vice has a manual for sexting from 2017, which you may want to take a good look at. One of the important considerations in the piece: setting clear guidelines for partner agreement, both for the activity itself and for how to save (or not save) the videos & # 39; s, photos & text that you generate. Even if the chat is secure, for example, it is quite difficult to be 100% sure that the person on the other hand is not taking a screenshot of what you send. Ultimately, as the Vice Guide notes, the best way to protect your privacy during sexting is to do it with people you trust and by setting clear guidelines and expectations for the experience.

When I posted this question on Twitter, I got a fair amount of snark ("A shared Google document, as the founders intended," replied a user), but also some good suggestions. For live video, the Signal app has encrypted the video call. The end-to-end encryption provides a reliable amount of protection that third parties will not listen to (but again, it is worth repeating that you can never determine who is in the other room on the other side of the device) . The same applies to the FaceTime of the iPhone, which offers encoding for video calls. Skype also has a private conversation feature.

For exchanging messages back and forth, end-to-end encrypted chat apps offer protection against external parties, but these cannot protect you from a partner who can screenshot the contents of a screenshot. Snapchat offers a number of decent protections because it notifies you when someone has protocoled your message (it also warns when someone uses screen recordings on iOS), so that might be the best choice.

When it comes to saving "user-generated content" from a consensual session, you must ensure that that data is protected. Cloud storage is never 100% secure and if you leave your devices hanging around, you want to use a secure storage app to ensure that colleagues, siblings, children, or unsuspecting intruders don't see anything shocking. The Vice-guide proposes Disckreet.

Ultimately, you must evaluate the options yourself and choose the path that is most comfortable for you and your partner. Even the most secure platforms can fall victim to leaks, hacks or bugs. Talk to your partner, assess the risks & # 39; s and take into account the digital path you are creating (the internet has a long memory). And have fun!

There is a very disturbing story about a cyber attack that has uncovered thousands of images of travelers and license plates stored by the customs and border control agency.

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