WASHINGTON — Photos that allegedly capture nude celebrities — including actress Jennifer Lawrence and singer Selena Gomez — were leaked Sunday night, leaving many to question their online security.
Photos of the celebrities started spreading on the anonymous imageboard site, 4Chan Sunday, and one post said that hackers managed to breach of number of celebrities’ iCloud accounts.
The list of allegedly hacked celebrities include Aubrey Plaza, Avril Lavigne, Victoria Justice, Hayden Pannettiere, Hope Solo, Jenny McCarthy, Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian, Lea Michele, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Rihanna.
While it has not yet been confirmed that iCloud was involved in the photo leak, many people may be wondering just how vulnerable their accounts are to hackers.
In the wake of the breach, Mashable gave some tips so people can make sure their online accounts stay secure:
Apple requires users to have a password with at least eight characters, a number, an uppercase letter and a lowercase letter.
But even if it’s a strong password, it need to be unique, too, meaning it’s not the same password or a variation of all your other passwords.
Two-factor authentication means that before you can access an account, you must log in with both a password and a unique code, which is usually sent via SMS or from an authenticator key.
Apple allows its users to set up two-factor verification for iTunes and iCloud accounts.
Read more about two-step verification.
For example, if your iPhone or iPad does not have a passcode on it, someone could plug your device into a computer and copy every file from your phone, Mashable notes.
Even if iCloud accounts were hacked in the case of the celebrities, it doesn’t necessarily signify a larger breach, according to Mashable.
After the photos were leaked, many of the targeted celebrities have sounded off.
Lawrence’s spokesperson released a statement Sunday night, according to BuzzFeed.
“This is a flagrant violation of privacy,” the spokesperson said in an email to BuzzFeed. “The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”
Justice tweeted that the photos of her weren’t real.
These so called nudes of me are FAKE people. Let me nip this in the bud right now. *pun intended*
— Victoria Justice (@VictoriaJustice) August 31, 2014
Winstead addressed the photos on Twitter, too.
To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves.
— Mary E. Winstead (@M_E_Winstead) August 31, 2014
Read more about iCloud security on Apple’s website.