Are your images safe? Can anyone download your pictures from your private cloud?

Hacker next to a computer

Photographers at every level of skill today are utilizing cloud storage is one of their main options for storing photos. Rather than having to deal with low storage space on your camera or on your devices, you can make sure that you can manage shrinking hard drive space with the help of new cloud storage solutions. Whether you are a fan of Amazon cloud storage, Google Drive, Flickr, dropbox, google photos or other services, they all count as cloud-based storage solutions.

Cloud-based storage is also an extremely popular alternative because it is a completely free option. Cloud-based options are usually available to use for free with the option to expand your storage space for a low monthly fee. Considering these options are completely free, it’s no wonder that cloud based storage has become such a popular choice for users at every level.

Are your photos secure? Is it worth it to enable the share button so that you can quickly upload photos from your phone to save on space? If you’re the type of person that values complete data privacy, there’s a number of variables that you may not have considered with cloud storage.

When you look closer to the privacy statements and terms that are available from most free cloud storage options, you can start to see more about what they are doing with your photos and the risks that you could be exposing yourself to by choosing to use the service.

Google Photos Logo

Google photos on android:

Google photos was a platform that was originally part of the Google+ platform. As a popular option for many photographers that use android devices, Google can automatically upload videos and photos up to 16 megapixels in size to their cloud storage.

What isn’t shared is that the algorithm will automatically analyze your photos for any type of location, people, or objects that anyone might be searching for. Google reserves the right to utilize these photos in their search algorithm for businesses, websites, reviews and more. This is the default option that is selected on most android phones when you decide to store your photos on the cloud and Google’s terms of service essentially negates your rights to the photos as well. By choosing to use the cloudy you are giving Google a complete worldwide license to reproduce, modify, store and publish any of the photos that you upload onto the cloud. Google could use it for their promotional campaigns, for google image search and more.

Apple logo

Apple iCloud:

The Apple iCloud is one of the other most popular solutions for default cloud cheering on iPhone devices. Apple does not take the same liberties with the photos it stores as Google does. iCloud does not include the same amount of storage as Google but it does also seem to have a number of security vulnerabilities that have been exploited in the past. Anyone that is able to get access to your eye cloud password could quickly access all of your photos stored on I cloud and from anywhere. The data that is secured on your phone can be quite secure with a fingerprint reader, but the data that’s stored on the iCloud could be quickly accessed if you have a very simple password. Changing your password often and making sure that you are using a secure browser when using iCloud can be an important step to preventing someone from accessing your photos.

Some of the top methods for access on your cloud photos can include:

Hacker is typing on the computer

A hacked password:

As mentioned previously, a password that is too simple to make sure that your account could be easily compromised. Brute force attacks that rely on guessing your password in thousands of different combinations will resolve quickly if you choose a very simple password. That’s just one of the simplest methods for determining your password and most hackers have an arsenal of other tools that they can use to quickly route out a password that doesn’t change much or that is extremely simple to guess.

A lost password:

If you keep your password written down for your cloud accounts or you share your passwords with friends and family, there is a chance that you could quickly be compromised as well. Make sure to keep your password secure and try to remember it whenever possible so that it never has to be written down.


A popular choice amongst hackers is to contact users on cloud based services and say that they are from technical support. This social engineering hack creates a rapport between the hacker and the user and many people quickly hand over their personal data to someone that they have deemed to be a member of tech support.

data protection map

Local law enforcement and the government:

If you are storing any photos that could be considered illegal, it’s important to keep in mind that any of the data that you post is not immune to search if you are suspect to a crime. Local government entities and law enforcement can serve a subpoena to the company that handles your cloud storage to take a look into your personal data if they feel it could help them further a case.


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