The ultimate guide to sharing nudes safely
Sending intimate photographs has become an increasingly common part of modern relationships. Here's how to stay safe when sharing nudes.
As we settle further into lockdown and restrictions look as if they’ll be in place for the foreseeable future, many of us are feeling more restless than ever before.
With young relationships becoming long-distance too soon, and long-term relationships needing a change of pace, many people are taking their sex lives online. But how can we make sure we’re doing this safely and securely?
Mia Sabat, a sex therapist at the sexual wellbeing audio app for women, Emjoy, is here to offer advice on how to keep your nudes safe before, during, and after sending them, so you can dabble in some risqué business, without risking your privacy or wellbeing.
Use a secure platform
While it can be fun and invigorating to dabble in some flirtatious photo exchanges, it’s important to think a few steps ahead to make sure your pictures are safe and don’t end up somewhere they shouldn’t be.
Be sure to use a secure platform when sending personal images to help you maintain control over who sees them, as well as where and when they might be enjoyed. We recommend not using platforms where photos can be saved, as you have little control over where these images might end up.
Instead, use platforms like Snapchat, which have timed messages and notify senders any time a screenshot is taken or an image is saved, so that you can keep tabs on your pics and focus on having fun.
If you’d like to keep things more traditional, and you are comfortable with your photograph being kept, try creating a new email address through a secure platform, like ProtonMail, that is fully encrypted, so as to protect your data and your personal information.
If you’d like to take it one step further, create your account under a new name so that if your images are leaked, they can’t be traced back to you. When in doubt, go with your instincts and do what makes you feel the most safe and comfortable.
Keep the focus on your body
If you’re new to the nudes game or feel apprehensive about being identified in images, it is perfectly acceptable to keep the focus on your body! Crop your face out of images, keep all pics below the chin, or artfully obscure your face if it makes you feel more comfortable.
By keeping the focus on your body, you can turn up the heat and tease your sexting buddy beyond measure, while maintaining anonymity and peace of mind.
"Artfully obscure your face if it makes you feel more comfortable"
Of course, if you have tattoos, distinctive birthmarks, scars or other physical markers that could easily identify you, it’s harder to protect your identity—but not impossible! Try out the suggestive draping of scarves, clothing, lingerie, or even toys to cover specific marks you’d prefer were shielded or obscured. This will help you maintain your anonymity, with the added bonus of ramping up the heat and leaving your partner begging for more!
Protect your location
Location services essentially act as a fingerprint on your phone. If your location services are on, every image you take will be encrypted with your location information, which can be traced back to your IP address.
Turn off location services for an extra measure of security, so you can exchange photos and feel care-free knowing you’ve covered your bases and kept your personal data, quite literally, out of the picture.
Turn off automatic uploads
Attention all iPhone users! If you have an iPhone and use the Cloud, every picture you take will automatically upload to your iCloud account.
We recommend manually turning off these automatic uploads so that your personal accounts are protected. This way, if any of your accounts linked to iCloud are hacked, your nudes are safe.
Store your nudes safely
We’ve all felt moments of panic while friends or family have innocently scrolled through our camera roll without our permission. If you’d prefer to keep your nudes all in one place, try storing your images in secure apps like Photo Vault or Snapchat’s "My Eyes Only" section, which let you store and protect specific pictures in the app and remove them from your camera roll.
If you’d like to keep your images far from your phone, try investing in an external hard-drive. These external devices are completely separate from any digital accounts (such as iCloud or GoogleDrive) and only store the images you upload onto the device. Since they aren’t linked to the internet, you can store all your indelicate images without fear of the device being hacked, or your images being leaked.
Whichever way you’d like to store your images, you can rest assured that you can scroll in front of others without fear of a saucy picture popping up unexpectedly.
An important note to remember
Be sure to always ask for consent before sending an intimate photograph, and never share a photograph you have been entrusted with with anybody else. If a nude of you is shared without your permission or ends up online, you have rights.
Visit the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative for more information on how to address this if it happens.
Read more: What dating is like for one gay man over 50
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