Remember that time you recorded yourself and a special friend doing the dance without pants and the entire Internet saw it? Unless your last name ends in Kardashian or Hilton, the answer is probably no.
In the newly released comedy Sex Tape, a married couple played by Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz spice up their lackluster love life by making a dirty video. He leaves the file on his computer, which automatically backs up a copy to the cloud and syncs to their friends’ iPads while they sleep. The next thing you know, they’re the involuntary sex gods of the Internet.
Could it happen to you? The chances are higher than you might think. According to McAfee’s February 2014 “Love, Relationships and Technology” survey, fully half of all adults have used a mobile device to send or receive intimate content. Sixteen percent of men say they sent it to a total stranger on purpose.
Anthony Weiner, your smartphone is vibrating. Please don’t answer.
Read more on Yahoo Movies:
• We Test Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel’s Closeness With a Game of ‘Know Your Co-Star’
• Complete coverage of Sex Tape
Let’s say you want to capture yourself in flagrante delicto without having your hooha buttered all over the Interwebs. You can still photograph your privates without sacrificing your privacy — if you’re careful. Here are seven ways to avoid Internetus Interruptus.
1. Lock your phone.
Leaving your phone laying around without locking the home screen is just begging for someone to sample your salacious snaps while you’re in the loo. Yet more than three out of 10 smartphone owners leave their mobiles wide open, according to McAfee. Remember the videos from that Game of Thrones cosplay party that got a little too wild? So will everyone else, if you don’t password-protect your phone.
2. Don’t share passwords.
You shouldn’t share passwords with anyone, most especially your significant other, yet more than half of adults do, McAfee says. Sure, you’re all lovey-dovey now, but in six months you’ll be using an X-ACTO blade to remove his face from group photos. He’ll be buying a houseplant and naming it after you, just so he can watch it slowly die. This is how revenge porn starts. If you’ve shared more than bodily fluids with your soon-to-be ex, you’ll want to change all your logins before you drop the “It’s not you, it’s me” hammer. (Make sure to persuade him to delete those raunchy pix from his phone first, if you can.)
3. Store your junk at home.
The cloud is a great place for storing all sorts of documents — except backups of you and your squeeze in a bit of rumpy pumpy. Why? For one thing, cloud accounts can get hacked. For another, you know the NSA is watching everything you do, right? Do you really want those sniggering dorks passing your most intimate moments around the office? (Yes, that really happens, according to this Edward Snowden interview.) Turn off the auto-backup options on your mobile devices before you get down and dirty, and delete the files before you turn them back on.
4. Practice safe sexting.
If you must exchange naughty messages and pix with your snuggle bunny, do it in a way that won’t come back to bite you. Wickr is like an industrial-strength Snapchat that actually works; you can chat and swap photos or videos, and then set a self-destruct sequence ranging from three seconds to six days. A Secure Shredder feature keeps your deleted files from ever being resurrected.
Or try Disckreet, an extremely simple iOS app that lets you capture videos and photos but requires two different passcodes — presumably, one from each party involved in doing the deed — in order to view them.
5. Keep your friends close and your frenemies closer.
Besides spurned love ones, the second biggest source for accidental porn spillage is indiscreet friends on social networks, notes Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist for McAfee. Once photos leave your possession, nobody can predict or control where they will end up, Davis says.
Sharing your racy moments with your Facebook BFFs is a recipe for disaster, no matter how much they swear they won’t show them to anyone else. And if you get a friend request from a guy named Fred Mwangaguhunga, run screaming. The founder of the popular MediaTakeout site is famous for exposing rappers’ private parts, most notoriously Kanye West’s.
6. Wipe your phone before you ditch it.
Think you deleted all those risque pix from your old mobile? Think again. Researchers at security vendor Avast recently bought 20 used Android handsets from eBay and recovered 40,000 photos its owners thought had been deleted during a factory reset — including 250 Weiner-esque self-portraits. (Google says phones running Android 4.0 or later don’t have this problem.) You’ll want to manually delete any raunchy images and videos, overwrite them with pictures of adorable kittens (better yet, goats), and then delete those pix before you sell or recycle your old handset.
7. Remember, porn never dies.
Do you really want your kids to find your stash of booty-call videos when you shuffle off to the great beyond? That’s where SecretValet comes in. The service, slated to debut later this year, will protect your digital assets using military-grade encryption and then let you specify who can access them and under what circumstances. The recipient will be asked to provide answers to questions about shared memories only you and your designate would know about.
The site’s introductory video shows a deceased couple sending a future birthday message to their son when he turns 18, which is frankly a little creepy, but you don’t have to be dead to take advantage of the service. You could ask a family friend to take possession of your XXX memories, just in case something happens to you.
Better yet? Skip digital recording and go analog. Use a handycam and a Polaroid to take your dirty pictures. You know, just like Mom and Dad used to.
Questions, complaints, kudos? Email Dan Tynan at ModFamily1@yahoo.com.